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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2000 Dec;26(11):1211-6.

Natural killer cell depletion by anti-asialo GM1 antiserum treatment enhances human hematopoietic stem cell engraftment in NOD/Shi-scid mice.

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Department of Clinical Oncology, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, Japan.


The scid mutation was backcrossed on to the NOD/Shi mouse background, resulting in the development of NOD/Shi-scid mice, which showed lack of mature lymphocytes, macrophage dysfunction and absence of circulating complement, but were not as impaired in natural killer (NK) cell activity as NOD/LtSz-scid mice. We then examined the effect of recipient NK cell depletion by anti-asialo GM1 antiserum on the repopulation of human cord blood (CB) hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) in NOD/Shi-scid mice to clarify the role of recipient NK cells in human HSC engraftment. The anti-asialo GM1 antiserum treatment significantly enhanced the engraftment of CB CD34+ cells, but did not affect the differentiation of the engrafted HSC into each hematopoietic lineage. The NK cell depletion was effective at early stages of the engraftment, but not 3 weeks after the transplantation. The anti-asialo GM1 antiserum treatment did not improve the engraftment by human HSC in scid mice which lack mature lymphocytes, but show neither macrophage dysfunction nor a reduction in circulating complement, indicating that macrophages and/or complement also have roles in HSC graft rejection. The present study indicates that the preconditioning targeting of recipient NK cells in addition to T cell suppression and myeloablation might prevent HSC graft failure, and that NOD/Shi-scid mice treated with anti-asialo GM1 antiserum could provide a useful tool for evaluating the repopulating ability of transplantable human HSC.

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