Fetal microchimerism (FMC) has been described to have a range of effects on health and disease. Y-chromosomal DNA has been detected in Golden Retrievers suggesting persistent FMC. In that report, nine dogs had evidence of microchimerism without prior pregnancy. To further understand this finding, a dam with prior male live births giving birth to her fourth litter of puppies, all females, was evaluated for FMC along with two of her daughters. All three female dogs had evidence of Y-chromosomal DNA in their blood. This suggests that male cells carried by the dam from previous pregnancy trafficked to her daughters to establish microchimerism in younger siblings. Companion dogs share many of the same cancers as humans, have out-bred genetics, and share the human environment, making them optimal models of human disease. Understanding the impact of FMC on health and disease of dogs could elucidate mechanisms useful for clinical interventions in humans.
SM Axiak-Bechtel, SR Kumar, SA Hansen, JN Bryan. Y-chromosome DNA is present in the blood of female dogs suggesting the presence of fetal microchimerism. PLoS One 2013; 8: e68114.
PMID: 23861856 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068114