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J Immunol. 2008 Nov 1;181(9):6616-24.

Strategic nonmyeloablative conditioning: CD154:CD40 costimulatory blockade at primary bone marrow transplantation promotes engraftment for secondary bone marrow transplantation after engraftment failure.

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Institute for Cellular Therapeutics, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA.


There is an increased risk of failure of engraftment following nonmyeloablative conditioning. Sensitization resulting from failed bone marrow transplantation (BMT) remains a major challenge for secondary BMT. Approaches to allow successful retransplantation would have significant benefits for BMT candidates living with chronic diseases. We used a mouse model to investigate the effect of preparative regimens at primary BMT on outcome for secondary BMT. We found that conditioning with TBI or recipient T cell lymphodepletion at primary BMT did not promote successful secondary BMT. In striking contrast, successful secondary BMT could be achieved in mice conditioned with anti-CD154 costimulatory molecule blockade at first BMT. Blockade of CD154 alone or combined with T cell depletion inhibits generation of the humoral immune response after primary BMT, as evidenced by abrogation of production of anti-donor Abs. The humoral barrier is dominant in sensitization resulting from failed BMT, because almost all CFSE-labeled donor cells were killed at 0.5 and 3 h in sensitized recipients in in vivo cytotoxicity assay, reflecting Ab-mediated cytotoxicity. CD154:CD40 costimulatory blockade used at primary BMT promotes allogeneic engraftment in secondary BMT after engraftment failure at first BMT. The prevention of generation of anti-donor Abs at primary BMT is critical for successful secondary BMT.

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