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Blood. 1998 Dec 15;92(12):4864-71.

Molecular typing shows a high level of HLA class I incompatibility in serologically well matched donor/patient pairs: implications for unrelated bone marrow donor selection.

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  • 1Anthony Nolan Research Institute and the Department of Haematology, The Royal Free Hospital, London, UK.


In comparison with HLA-matched sibling bone marrow transplants, unrelated donor transplants are associated with increased graft-versus-host disease and graft failure. This is likely in part due to HLA incompatibilities not identified by current matching strategies. High resolution DNA-based typing methods for HLA class II loci have improved donor selection and treatment outcome in unrelated donor bone marrow transplantation. By using DNA-based typing methods for HLA-A and -B on a cohort of 100 potential bone marrow donor/patient pairs, we find that serological typing for HLA class I is limited in its ability to identify incompatibilities in unrelated pairs. Furthermore, the incompatibilities identified are associated with the presence at high frequency of alloreactive cytotoxic T-lymphocyte precursors. DNA typing also indicates that HLA-C mismatches are common in HLA-A and -B serologically matched pairs. Such mismatches appear to be significantly less immunogenic with respect to cytotoxic T-lymphocyte recognition, but are expected to influence natural killer cell activity. Thus, improved resolution of HLA class I shows many previously undisclosed mismatches that appear to be immunologically functional. Use of high resolution typing methods in routine matching is expected to improve unrelated donor selection and transplant outcome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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