In the last 10 years there has been renewed interest in the possible impact of the noninherited maternal HLA antigens (NIMA) on the immune response. This interest is only surpassed by an even stronger scepticism that the effect really exists and is clinically relevant. In this presentation we will summarize the published and some unpublished data supporting the existence of the NIMA effect and formulate the questions, which are relevant for understanding the mechanisms by which NIMA could influence the immune response. Three different approaches that could give us an insight of the cellular and molecular basis of the NIMA effect (if it exist) will be proposed. © American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, 2000.
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