Document Type



Immunology and Infectious Disease | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Parental phenotype is known to influence the inheritance of atopic diseases, such as allergic asthma, with a maternal history being a more significant risk factor for progeny than paternal history. We hypothesized that recall Th1- or Th2-type immune responses during pregnancy would result in transfer of maternal factors that would differentially impact development of immune responsiveness in offspring. Following weaning, susceptibility and severity of allergic airway disease (a murine model of human asthma) was evaluated in progeny, disease being elicited by immunization with OVA-Al(OH)3 and challenge with aerosolized OVA. We found that progeny of mothers with Th1-biased immunity to OVA subjected to recall aerosol challenge during pregnancy had reduced levels of Ag-specific IgE and airway eosinophilia compared with progeny of mothers with Th2-biased immunity to OVA or naive mothers. Interestingly, progeny of mothers with Th1-type immunity to a heterologous albumin, BSA, were not protected from developing OVA-induced allergic airway disease. These findings demonstrated that maternal transfer of protection from development of allergic airway disease to offspring in this model of maternal Th1-type immunity was Ag specific.


J Immunol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2011 August 14. Published in final edited form as: J Immunol. 2007 July 15; 179(2): 1282–1291. PMCID: PMC3155847 NIHMSID: NIHMS312206