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Blood. 2003 Jul 1;102(1):388-93. Epub 2003 Mar 20.

Multiparity induces priming to male-specific minor histocompatibility antigen, HY, in mice and humans.

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Transplantation Biology Group, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK.


One of the factors that increases the risk of graft-versus-host disease following allogeneic stem cell transplantation is the use of multiparous females as donors. Since minor histocompatibility (H) antigens are the main targets of graft-versus-host and graft-versus-leukemia responses, we tested the hypothesis that multiparity could prime minor H antigen-specific T cells. We examined the peripheral lymphoid populations of multiparous mice and humans for evidence of priming of CD8+ T-cytotoxic lymphocytes against peptide epitopes of the male-specific minor H antigen, HY. In contrast to naive females, multiparous females have measurable levels of circulating HY-specific tetramer-positive T lymphocytes, which can be readily expanded in vitro. These findings have implications for the in vitro generation of T-cell clones as reagents for immunotherapy for tumors following stem cell transplantation.

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