Maternal-Offspring Immune Crosstalk
Optimal development of immune system requires defined environmental input in a spatiotemporally regulated manner. This fundamental process begins in utero in parallel to organogenesis. Numerous epidemiological data suggested that maternal environmental exposure during pregnancy, particularly infection, can shape the offspring immunity in the long term. During this critical window, the mother also undergoes dramatic physiological changes to nurture and adapt to the semi-allograph fetus. Despite vast clinical and societal implications, the mechanisms underlying maternal-offspring immune crosstalk remain largely elusive. We aim to establish a mechanistic understanding of how maternal environmental exposure impacts long-term offspring tissue immunity, and reciprocally, how maternal immunity adapts to pregnancy and lactation.