Bone marrow graft-versus-host disease: evaluation of its clinical impact on disrupted hematopoiesis after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2014 Apr;20(4):495-500. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.12.568. Epub 2013 Dec 27.


Idiopathic cytopenias are frequently observed in patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). We have previously reported the effect of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) on bone marrow (BM) in murine models, indicating that the osteoblast injury mediated by donor T cells was associated with bone marrow suppression and delayed immune reconstitution. In this study, we prospectively evaluated the relevance of these findings in 51 patients. Patients with chronic GVHD manifested the loss of osteoblasts, contributing to cytopenic symptoms (P = .0427 compared with patients without cytopenic symptoms). The loss of osteoblasts was significantly associated with the extensive type of chronic GVHD (P = .012), and flow cytometric analyses revealed lower numbers of CD19(+) B cells and a significantly increased CD4 to CD8 ratio (P = .0002) in these patients. Our data, for the first time to our knowledge, summarize the detailed analyses of the effect of GVHD on BM in the clinical allo-HSCT patients.

Keywords: Bone marrow graft-versus-host disease (BM GVHD); Idiopathic cytopenias; Osteoblasts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD19 / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / immunology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / pathology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Cell Count
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Graft vs Host Disease / immunology
  • Graft vs Host Disease / pathology*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Hematopoiesis / immunology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoblasts / immunology
  • Osteoblasts / pathology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Antigens, CD19