A prospective analysis of the pattern of immune reconstitution in a paediatric cohort following transplantation of positively selected human leucocyte antigen-disparate haematopoietic stem cells from parental donors

Br J Haematol. 2001 Aug;114(2):422-32. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2141.2001.02934.x.


Transplantation of haematopoietic stem cells from human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-disparate parental donors presents a promising new approach for the treatment of patients lacking a HLA-matched donor. Success against major obstacles such as graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and graft rejection has recently been demonstrated, so that immune reconstitution is one of the prime factors that determines the long-term prognosis following transplantation. Twenty children transplanted with megadoses of highly purified CD34(+) haematopoietic stem cells after rigorous T-cell depletion were prospectively monitored for their immune reconstitution during the first post-transplant year. Natural killer (NK) cells showed a marked increase on d +30. T and B cells began to reconstitute on d +72 and +68 respectively. During extended follow-up, their numbers and proliferative capacity upon mitogen stimulation continually increased. Early reconstituting T cells were predominantly of a primed, activated phenotype with severely skewed T-cell receptor (TCR)-repertoire complexity. Naive T cells emerged 6 months post transplantation, paralleled by an increase in TCR-repertoire diversity. All patients self-maintained sufficient immunoglobulin levels after d +200. This study demonstrates that paediatric recipients of highly purified, haploidentical stem cells are able to reconstitute functioning T-, B- and NK-cell compartments within the first post-transplant year. This, together with the absence of significant GvHD, provides a strong indication for this approach to be considered in children who lack a HLA-matched donor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antigens, CD34*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Blood Transfusion, Autologous
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Lymphocyte Transfusion
  • Male
  • Parents*
  • Prospective Studies
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Transplantation Conditioning*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antigens, CD34