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Blood. 2004 Jul 15;104(2):572-8. Epub 2004 Mar 25.

Bone marrow transplantation restores immune system function and prevents lymphoma in Atm-deficient mice.

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  • 1Transplantation Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, MGH-East, 149-5210 13th St, Boston, MA 02129, USA.


Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) is a human autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in the gene encoding ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM). A-T is characterized by progressive cerebellar degeneration, variable immunodeficiency, and a high incidence of leukemia and lymphoma. Recurrent sino-pulmonary infections secondary to immunodeficiency and hematopoietic malignancies are major causes of morbidity and mortality in A-T patients. In mice, an introduced mutation in Atm leads to a phenotype that recapitulates many of the symptoms of A-T, including immune system abnormalities and susceptibility to malignancy. Here we show that the replacement of the bone marrow compartment in Atm knockout mice (Atm(-/-)) using a clinically relevant, nonmyeloablative host-conditioning regimen can be used to overcome the immune deficiencies and prevent the malignancies observed in these mice. Therefore, bone marrow transplantation may prove to be of therapeutic benefit in A-T patients.

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