Rapid establishment of dendritic cell chimerism in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant recipients

Blood. 2002 Feb 15;99(4):1442-8. doi: 10.1182/blood.v99.4.1442.


Regeneration of hematopoiesis after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) involves conversion of the recipient's immune system to donor type. It is likely that distinct cell lineages in the recipient reconstitute at different rates. Dendritic cells (DCs) are a subset of hematopoietic cells that function as a critical component of antigen-specific immune responses because they modulate T-cell activation, as well as induction of tolerance. Mature DCs are transferred with hematopoietic grafts and subsequently arise de novo. Little information exists about engraftment kinetics and turnover of this cell population in patients after allogeneic HCT. This study examined the kinetics of DC chimerism in patients who underwent matched sibling allogeneic HCT. T-cell, B-cell, and myelocytic and monocytic chimerism were also studied. Peripheral blood cells were analyzed at defined intervals after transplantation from 19 patients with various hematologic malignancies after treatment with myeloablative or nonmyeloablative preparatory regimens. Cell subsets were isolated before analysis of chimerism. Despite the heterogeneity of the patient population and preparatory regimens, all showed rapid and consistent development of DC chimerism. By day +14 after transplantation approximately 80% of DCs were of donor origin with steady increase to more than 95% by day +56. Earlier time points were examined in a subgroup of patients who had undergone nonmyeloablative conditioning and transplantation. These data suggest that a major proportion of blood DCs early after transplantation is donor-derived and that donor chimerism develops rapidly. This information has potential implications for manipulation of immune responses after allogeneic HCT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Cells / cytology
  • Blood Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Female
  • Graft Survival / physiology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Immune System / cytology
  • Immune System / growth & development
  • Kinetics
  • Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Transplantation Chimera* / immunology
  • Transplantation Conditioning
  • Transplantation, Homologous