T-cell depletion of human bone marrow

J Immunogenet. 1989 Apr;16(2):103-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-313x.1989.tb00452.x.


The myelo-ablative effects of high-dose therapy of refractory cancer can be overcome by the transplantation of bone marrow from an HLA-matched normal donor. Suitable donors are available for only one patient in three, and even minor disparities at HLA loci can produce graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in transplant recipients. Depletion of T lymphocytes from the marrow in vitro can reduce the incidence and severity of GvHD. In this paper we review the use of immunomagnetic cell separation for the depletion of mature T cells from bone marrow. This procedure uses monoclonal antibodies to identify the target cells. These are then rosetted with anti-immunoglobulin-coated paramagnetic microspheres and collected by exposure of the marrow to a magnetic field. Factors impacting the efficiency of the separation, including choice of anti-immunoglobulin and monoclonal antibodies, incubation conditions and methods for residual cell detection, are outlined. The relative limitations and advantages of the method are discussed in relation to other techniques. It is concluded that the flexibility of the immunomagnetic procedure, in its ability to be used for both positive and negative selection of T-cell subsets, or for pan-T-cell depletion, could make it the method of choice in this application.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Bone Marrow Cells*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / immunology
  • Graft vs Host Disease / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lymphocyte Depletion*
  • Magnetics
  • Microspheres
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal