Galectin-1 is a major anti-inflammatory protein expressed by the placenta and immune cells that can bias the character of inflammatory responses toward the Th2 type. Galectin-1 is expressed in immune privileged sites, it can facilitate immune tolerance and tumor immune escape, and it has been successfully used for the suppression of experimental autoimmune diseases as well as graft-versus-host disease in murine models. We propose that an abnormal immune response in some pregnancy complications may be associated with changes in placental expression of galectin-1... We propose that the increased placental expression of galectin-1 in patients with severe PE may represent a fetal response to an exaggerated systemic maternal inflammation; thus, galectin-1 may be implicated in maternal-fetal immune tolerance in humans...
(So the placenta's trying to turn down the maternal immune response.)
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