Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an immunological treatment that has been used for more than 40 years to cure a variety of diseases. The procedure is associated with serious side effects, due to the severe impairment of the immune system induced by the treatment. After a conditioning regimen with high-dose chemotherapy, sometimes in combination with total body irradiation, haematopoietic stem cells are transferred from a donor, allowing a donor-derived blood system to form. Here, we discuss the current knowledge of humoral problems and B cell development after HSCT, and relate these to the current understanding of human peripheral B cell development. We describe how these studies have aided the identification of subsets of transitional B cells and also a robust memory B cell phenotype.
© 2011 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Immunology © 2011 British Society for Immunology.