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J Immunol. 2011 Apr 1;186(7):4191-9. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1003674. Epub 2011 Feb 28.

Rapid reconstitution of antibody responses following transplantation of purified allogeneic hematopoietic stem cells.

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Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation has broad clinical applications extending from the treatment of malignancies to induction of immunologic tolerance. However, adaptive cellular and humoral immunity frequently remain impaired posttransplantation. Here, recovery of T-dependent and T-independent Ab responses was evaluated in mice transplanted with purified hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) devoid of the mature immune cells believed to hasten immune recovery. Mixed and full donor chimeras were created by conditioning recipients with sublethal or lethal irradiation, respectively, across different donor/host genetic disparities. By 6 wk posttransplantation, all animals demonstrated robust T-independent Ab responses, and all mixed chimeras and recipients of MHC-matched or haploidentical HSCs with a shared MHC haplotype had T-dependent Ab responses equivalent to those of untransplanted controls. Full chimeras that received fully MHC-disparate HSCs showed delayed T-dependent Ab responses that recovered by 12 wk. This delay occurred despite early reconstitution and proper migration to germinal centers of donor-derived T(follicular helper) (T(FH)) cells. Congenic transplants into T(FH)-deficient CD4(-/-) mice revealed restoration of T-dependent Ab responses by 6 wk, leading us to conclude that MHC disparity caused delay in humoral recovery. These findings, together with our previous studies, show that, contrary to the view that depletion of graft lymphocytes results in poor posttransplant immunity, elimination of immune-suppressing graft-versus-host reactions permits superior immune reconstitution. This study also provides insight into the regeneration of T(FH) cells and humoral immunity after allogeneic HSC transplantation.

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