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Bone Marrow Transplant. 1999 May;23(10):1055-60.

Rapid quantification of mixed chimerism using multiplex amplification of short tandem repeat markers and fluorescence detection.

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Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I, Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus der Technischen Universität, Dresden, Germany.


Monitoring the engraftment of donor cells after allogeneic blood stem cell transplantation (BSCT) may be important for the early diagnosis of graft failure or relapse of disease. Several techniques have been reported for this purpose. PCR-based assays analyzing polymorphic short tandem repeat (STR) markers are attractive because they are sensitive and can be performed rapidly. The intent of the present study was to test a novel approach for the quantification of mixed chimerism using a commercial multiplex STR assay with fluorescence-based detection for forensic purposes. The feasibility of this assay and the accuracy of quantitative results was tested using serial cell mixtures of unrelated individuals. Sample preparation was optimized to obtain information from minute amounts of starting material, eg from patients with aplasia or from sorted cell populations. Using the STR-PCR, discrimination between donor and recipient was possible in all patients analyzed (n = 25). Cell dilution experiments showed a linear correlation between the cell numbers added and the proportions found, with the limit of detection for a minor cell population being 5%. Comparison of values obtained with standard FISH analysis in patients transplanted from sex-mismatched donors showed an excellent correlation with the STR-PCR results. Taken together, this procedure allows the rapid, versatile and accurate quantification of mixed chimerism, even with minuscule numbers of cells.

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