Play it, Jen

Every good movie has a piano player somewhere in the background--
sometimes seen, usually unseen.
Seldom really noticed.
The feeling, the very soul of a scene, is created by that person tinkering at the keys.
It has been said, "All the world's a stage."
Well then...Play it, Jen.

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Location: Over Yonder, Missouri

I'm a California Native transplanted to the Missouri Ozarks. I've learned how to chase cows in high heels and load hay faster than you can say "Coco Chanel." These are some of our pictures and stories of living in a land with breath-taking beauty and adventure around every bend.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Did I cause my son's biliary atresia?

BioMed Central | Full text | Maternal microchimerism in the livers of patients with Biliary atresia:
"Disease has been shown to occur in mothers who have had fetal microchimerism, and children/adults who have had maternal microchimerism. Children who have immunodeficiencies are at greater risk for graft verses host disease owing to engraftment of maternal lymphocytes. In both SCID and DiGeorge syndrome, maternal microchimerism and GVHD have been well described.
In a study by Susanne Miller et al., 121 patients with SCID were evaluated for maternal microchimerism using HLA typing. Maternal cells were found in 48 patients, with 19 patients showing signs of GVHD. GVHD manifested itself in the skin and in the liver...
The histologic and immunologic similarities of BA and GVHD are striking. The site of damage in BA and GVHD after bone marrow transplantation is the same. In each, lymphocytes congregate around the bile ducts. The damage occurs to both the intra-and extrahepatic biliary tracts. In a mouse model of acute GVHD, Nonomura et al. showed that transfer of allogeneic cells set along minor HLA mismatch can cause damage to both the intra and extrahepatic biliary ducts. Interestingly, the timeframe in this mouse model of acute GVHD, in terms of lymphocytic infiltration and fibrosis, appear similar to that of BA. Initially, a peak of lymphocytes around the bile ducts occurs about 2 weeks after transfer of allogeneic cells from donor to host mouse; as the lymphocytic infiltration subsides, liver fibrosis increases. This correlates with disease progression in BA, where initial diagnostic biopsies of BA livers usually show a larger lymphocytic infiltration, and less fibrosis, as compared to biopsies done later, i.e. at the time of liver transplantation."

So my own cells remaining and embedding in my son's liver after birth cause an inflamatory process to start up which damaged his biliary tract leading to atresia and ultimate destruction of his liver leading to liver transplant (twice). This is an interesting thought. Is is, indeed, the cause of Biliary Atresia?!
Most babies have some of mommy's cells hanging out with them when they are born. So what is it with biliary atresia kids that mommy's cells aren't just cleaned out by baby's immune system like "normal" "healthy" babies?
How is it mommy's cells come to imbed themselves into baby's liver?
Is this why moms feel this inherent sense of guilt for somehow causing their child's illness? I have never met a biliary atresia mom who hasn't, at some point, asked the question, "What did I do that caused this?"
In reading about "other people" cells grafting themselves into a recipient liver, I am reminded of models of spontaneous regeneration that I have read. One in particular jumps to mind in which male donor cells grafted themselves into the liver of a female recipient (who had liver disease). Guess what! Spontaneous liver regeneration--bye bye liver disease.
And the kicker? When testing a sample of the recipient's liver, after regeneration, they found cells with Y chromosomes--male cells. The male cells were still in there working with the liver. Conclusion was that the male donor cells imbedding in the recipient liver were very possibly the cause of regeneration.
So, does mommy's renegade cells cause an inflamatory response in a baby's liver leading to biliary atresia? there something going on in baby's liver already and mommy's cells are grafting themselves in there in an attempt to circumvent liver damage and help an already hurt liver to regenerate itself?

Just my musing--out loud. No scientific data to back me up. Just my own little brain running off on another one of its tangents. I'm sure there's already some scientific data out there shooting down my little theory. However, I'll remain blissfully ignorant for the time being. Perhpas denial ain't just a river in Egypt after all.
I reckon it's now time I got up and did my housework for the day.
Do you suppose it is really the soap lowering the viscosity of water that makes getting food off the plates easier? Or is it really that the food is attracted to the soap itself and therefore leaves the plate of its own accord to go join with the soap?......


Blogger jonandsteph said...

Hey Jenny,
I got your comment at our blog. Thanx for sharing. I LOVE meeting new people. Especially those who share some of my same interests.

Just curious how your search for links on biliary atresia got you to our blog. (Maybe from my 'Medical Research' post? I posted a bunch of different thoughts there, since we are still trying to pinpoint what is going on with Ben.)

I loved the slide show of David's baptizem. Now I want to try. :)

Stephanie (drop me an e-mail sometime, if you would like)

2:33 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Hi Stephanie--
I believe it was your mention of biliary atresia in your medical research list--where you are keeping a running list of your son's symptoms. It was mentioned in there under malabsorption.
You are a good mom and a smart mom. Ben is lucky to have a mom who is willing to go to bat for him, to do research and not just leave it all up to the "experts" to figure it out. You know your son better than anyone else and you can pick up on cues from him that everyone else will overlook.

3:16 PM  
Blogger TexasLib said...

Hi, Jen.

It's an interesting theory and I'm somewhat relieved. When you mentioned being to blame for the BA I thought it was something you had been exposed to rather than a genetic trait. I keep in mind that things for which we have genetic explanations will one day have genetic solutions.

You can hardly blame yourself for passing this on, although I know we all do that when a child has a genetic condition. When I had my daughters, the prevailing wisdom was that lupus was not heritable. However, one of my children does have an autoimmune disease and the other inherited a bleeding disorder, although thankfully a mild form of it.

Both of these could have also come from their dad's side of the family, but a mom can't help the twinges of responsibility.

We also should remember that those "flawed" genes also make up the incredible kid we produced. Who know? Without the challenges we might have had kids not quite so bright or extra special.

As for the soap, I vote with emulsification. If it were really strong attraction, I wouldn't leave them alone in the kitchen. You might wake up to a sink for of weird hybrids, like permanently soapy saucers.

5:23 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

((((((Pat))))) Thank you so much! You are right, our kids are who they are because of who they are. :) It's just always interesting to see new ideas on this as nobody really knows all that much of where this condition comes from. Sure would be nice if someone could figure it out so they can work on a way to stop it from happening.
I'm with you on the emulsifying idea. Although last night when I took the soap out of the cupboard a tub of lard made a mad dash at me and I ducked just in the nick of time..... LOL ;)

6:53 PM  

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