Seminars on Maternal-Fetal Interactions and the Latin-American Chapter of ASRI


Seminar on Maternal-Fetal Interactions University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, 7–8 November 2011

This annual seminar series held in São Paulo, Brazil, has over the years stimulated huge participation by national and international participants working in the fields of reproductive immunology, placental biology, reproductive endocrinology, genetics and epigenetics, angiogenesis, intrauterine infections, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. The 2011 meeting was no different in its focus and excellence. Rather, it outdid the other meetings through huge participation by young investigators and students. The meeting coordination was spearheaded by Prof. Estela Bevilacqua of the University of São Paulo with the utmost cooperation from Profs Silvia Daher of Universidade Federal de São Paulo and Aureo Yamada of University of Campinas. After the inaugural comments by Prof. Bevilacqua, the meeting had an electrifying beginning with back to back talks by Drs Stacy Zamudio and Nick Illsley of Hackensack University Medical Center, USA, on placental adaptation in chronically hypoxic pregnancies (high altitude) and placental metabolic programming in the background of hypoxia. These talks were followed by several talks in Portuguese on clinical aspects of pregnancy and the role of VEGF and hCG in trophoblast invasion in tubal pregnancies. Dr Ramos presented her new data on microchimerism by looking at fetal DNA in maternal circulation. An intriguing talk was given by Dr Surendra Sharma of Brown University, USA, on immune programming of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). His work for the first time demonstrated that GDM regulatory T cells uniquely express an exhausted phenotype marker and its blockade reverses the nonfunctional phenotype of these cells. This work has huge clinical implications. This was followed by a very exciting talk by Dr Sandra Blois of University Medicine of Berlin, Germany, on the immunomodulatory role of galactin-1 in pregnancy. The after coffee and lunch sessions brought out excellent presentations by students and faculty. The talks covered uterine NK and iNKT cells, trophoblast differentiation in mice, placenta as a predictor of anomalies, and several other contemporary themes in reproductive biology.

The research group in São Paulo is committed to expanding the seminar series to translational aspects of reproductive immunology and biology by getting together basic scientists and physicians on the same platform to provide outstanding treatise on the cutting edge progress in the field. We thank the organizers for their great hospitality and congratulate them for a hugely successful meeting.

First Latin-American ASRI Satellite Symposium Buenos Aires, Argentina, 10–11 November 2011

Although our Latin-American colleagues have amply contributed to the success story of the 35 year old American Society for Reproductive Immunology (ASRI), we recently enjoyed the fruits of this camaraderie in the form of the First Latin-American ASRI Satellite Symposium held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 10–11 November 2011. This concept of the Latin-American Chapter of ASRI simply began as a cursory discussion but has now become a constitutional realty.

The Satellite Symposium in Buenos Aires should serve as a pleasant reminder to all the members of the ASRI family that excellence has no borders. Kudos to the Organizing Committee: Drs Ana Franchi, Silvia Daher, Leonardo Fainboim, Gabriela Guiterrez, Silvina Perez-Martinez, Rossana Ramhorst and Mónica Vazquez-Levin, for organizing an outstanding meeting. The Symposium turned out to be high on excellence and quality and covered some cutting edge themes, including fertilization and implantation, immunobiology of early pregnancy, preeclampsia, and cytokines and pregnancy loss. The content represented a balance between clinical and basic aspects of reproductive immunology.

The Latin-American and international speakers enthralled the participants with their cutting edge data which generated meaningful discussions. The most impressive but surprising element turned out to be a robust participation by senior and junior investigators and students alike. Of course, the hospitality provided by the organizing committee deserves a special mention. Although the day-long meetings were full of activity, the venue of the meeting and the after meeting activities provided a commodious and pleasant environment.

As President of the ASRI and one of the proponents of its Latin-American Chapter, I sincerely hope that this tradition of Latin-American Symposia is followed up vigorously to promote exchange of ideas and to provide cross-border opportunities to investigators and students for collaborative endeavors.

Surendra Sharma

Professor of Pediatrics

President, American Society for Reproductive Immunology

Seminar on Maternal Fetal Interactions and the Latin-American Chapter of the American Society for Reproductive Immunology

Dear colleagues,

The 6th edition of the Seminar on Maternal Fetal Interactions was held on 7–8 November 2011, at the University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. As in previous years, the event has been promoted by six different Brazilian Post-Graduate Programs: Cell and Tissue Biology and, Obstetrics and Gynecology (Institute of Biomedical Sciences and School of Medicine, University of São Paulo-USP), Cellular and Structural Biology and Obstetrics and Gynecology (Institute of Biology and Faculty of Medicine, University of Campinas-UNICAMP), Obstetrics (Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo-UNIFESP) and Gynecology, Obstetrics and Mastology (Faculty of Medicine, Paulista State University, Botucatu-UNESP). The aim of this seminar is to promote the interaction among postgraduate students, and also between them and national and international researchers from basic and clinical area that work with biological mechanisms of maternal–fetal interactions.

The 2011 program included 16 plenary conferences presented by senior investigators from Brazil and abroad, a session with presentations by five young investigators, a round table where each of the six post-graduation programs presented their work and objectives, and also a poster session. Several themes with emphasis in Placental Biology and Immunology of Pregnancy were discussed, including new technological approaches and applications that may contribute towards a better understanding of physiologic and pathologic processes involved in reproduction.

The event was a big success and highly praised by all participants who are looking forward to next year′s edition. We would like to thank the financial and logistic support provided by FAPESP, CCint-USP, ICB-USP, FM-USP, IB-UNICAMP, EPM-UNIFESP and FM-UNESP-Botucatu.

The Seminar on Maternal-Fetal Interactions was followed by the First Latin-American ASRI Satellite Symposium held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 10–11 November 2011. The meeting was performed with the III International Symposium on Reproductive Immunology. The most relevant and recent advances in Reproductive Immunology were presented by outstanding speakers from Latin-American, USA and Europe.

The theme of these conferences ranged from basic science to clinical applications of investigations related to physiological and pathological regulatory mechanisms in pregnancy, including contributions related to male factors; disorders of pregnancy and diagnostic tools for the prediction and early detection of these conditions were also debated. The topics presented linked clinical practice with opportunities for basic research seeking to clarify cellular and molecular-associated mechanisms and included 15 conferences grouped in four symposia and 19 poster presentations. All symposia and posters were well received and highly appreciated by all participants that included basic research scientists, health professionals and a large number of students from different parts of South America.

The creation of the Latin-American Chapter of the American Society for Reproductive Immunology was formally proposed in 2011, at the 31th ASRI Meeting. Prof. Surendra Sharma, ASRI President, supported our proposition and submitted it to the Executive Council which was later approved. The objectives of this new Chapter of ASRI are to foster the development of investigations in reproductive immunology and to increase the exchange of knowledge and research between investigators (students and professionals) who work in Latin America.

The First Latin-American Chapter was a milestone for health professional involved in the clinical management of pregnant women as well as for researchers dedicated to the scientific aspects of reproductive immunology in Latin-American countries. This meeting brought together researchers from many different centers thus contributing to the creation of new research partnerships that will undoubtedly contribute to scientific progress and the training of young investigators. Besides its direct contribution to scientific progress in Latin America, this event promoted by the Latin-American Chapter of the ASRI also contributed to the globalization of our specialty.

We hope this event becomes a tradition and that the number of participants from Latin America and all other regions of the world increase with each new meeting. Finally, it is important to remember that this meeting and all its positive outcomes could not have happened without the dedication and involvement of ASRI President, Prof. Surendra Sharma, and the total support of the ASRI, for which we are deeply grateful.

This Special Issue includes summaries of a total of 28 conferences, some of which have figures and/or tables. In addition, abstracts from presentations of four young researchers are presented, as well as 28 abstracts from poster presentations, 12 of which were awarded.

We take the opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to all contributors and to the American Society of Reproductive Immunology for this supplement to the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology.

Silvia Daher1, Mónica Vazquez-Levin2

Editors, abstract supplement

1Laboratory of Experimental and Physiological Obstetrics-Department of Obstetrics – UNIFESP, São Paulo, Brazil;

2Laboratory of Cell Cell interaction in Reproduction and Cancer Models, National Research Council of Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina