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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2013 Oct;19(10):1465-73. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.07.014. Epub 2013 Jul 20.

Association of an impaired bone marrow microenvironment with secondary poor graft function after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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  • 1Peking University People's Hospital, Peking University Institute of Hematology, Beijing Key Laboratory of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Beijing, China.


Poor graft function (PGF) is a serious complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Whether abnormalities of the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment are involved in the pathogenesis of PGF is unclear. In the present prospective nested case-control study, 19 patients with secondary PGF, 38 matched patients with good graft function (GGF) after allo-HSCT, and 15 healthy donors (HDs) were enrolled. The cellular elements of the BM microenvironment, including endosteal cells, perivascular cells, and vascular cells, were analyzed by flow cytometry as well as hematoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemical staining in situ. The median time to occurrence of secondary PGF was 90 days post-transplantation (range, 58 to 264 days). The patients with PGF showed markedly hypocellular marrow (10% versus 45% versus 45%; P < .0001) with scattered hematopoietic cells and significantly lower CD34(+) cells (0.07% versus 0.26% versus 0.26%; P < .0001), endosteal cells (4 per high-power field [hpf] versus 16 per hpf versus 20 per hpf; P < .001), perivascular cells (0.008% versus 0.10% versus 0.12%; P < .0001), and endothelial progenitor cells (0.008% versus 0.16% versus 0.18%; P < .0001) compared with GGF allo-HSCT recipients and HDs, respectively. Multivariate analyses revealed that endothelial progenitor cells (odds ratio, 150.72; P = .001) and the underlying disease (odds ratio, 18.52; P = .007) were independent risk factors for secondary PGF. Our results suggest that the impaired BM microenvironment may contribute to the occurrence of secondary PGF post-HSCT.

Copyright © 2013 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Bone marrow; Microenvironment; Poor graft function; Secondary

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