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Exp Hematol. 2000 Feb;28(2):119-27.

Transplantation tolerance induced by "mega dose" CD34+ cell transplants.

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Department of Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


Early studies in murine models and more recent clinical data in heavily pretreated leukemia patients have shown that escalation of hematopoietic progenitor cells can overcome major genetic barriers and enable rapid and durable engraftment of haploidentical 3-loci mismatched transplants without graft-versus-host disease. In vitro studies suggest that veto cells within the progenitors population most likely mediate this facilitating effect. Leukemia relapse is relatively low in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) but is greater in adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Donor NK cells most likely mediate the resistance to relapse in patients with AML who are recipients of haploidentical transplants. Immune reconstitution in adults but not in children is slow as in adult recipients of HLA matched unrelated bone marrow transplants. The "mega dose" concept was also shown recently to be useful for tolerance induction in sublethally irradiated mice, so as to effectively overcome the marked resistance presented by the large number of lymphocytes surviving the sublethal conditioning. Thus, allogeneic chimeras generated by transplantation of large doses of Sca1+Lin- cells, permanently accept allogeneic donor type skin grafts. However, the numbers required to attain this desirable goal may not be easily collected from human donors. Nonalloreactive T cells synergize with murine Sca1+Lin- cells and might, therefore, enable achievement of engraftment of haploidentical transplants in sublethally conditioned patients.

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