A sex-specific reconstitution bias in the competitive CD45.1/CD45.2 congenic bone marrow transplant model

Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 14;7(1):3495. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-03784-9.


Allelic variants of the pan-haematopoietic cell marker CD45, identified as CD45.1 and CD45.2, have been established as a marker system to track haematopoietic cells following congenic mouse bone marrow transplants. Despite the frequent use of this model for studying the impact of genetic modifications on relative differentiation potential, it is now evident that a bias exists in CD45.1 versus CD45.2 cell reconstitution. While this bias has been demonstrated by reduced reconstitution potential in B cells of CD45.1 origin, differences in the development of other lymphocytes, as well as the impact of sex on this bias, remain uncertain. We performed bone marrow transplants with wild-type CD45.1 and CD45.2 donor cells, and characterised haematopoietic cell reconstitution in dual-expressing CD45.1/2 host mice. We report an increase in CD45.2 reconstitution in the bone marrow that persists in the spleen, thymus and blood. Through the use of CD45.1/2 hosts, we demonstrate the intrinsic bias towards CD45.2 reconstitution is independent of an immunogenic response to the CD45.1 epitope. Furthermore, we identify a sex-specific difference in reconstitution efficiencies, with female mice exhibiting a greater bias towards CD45.2 reconstitution than males. This work sheds new light on the limitations of the CD45.1/CD45.2 congenic system for tracking lymphocyte development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Congenic
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Protein Isoforms
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*


  • Protein Isoforms
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens
  • Ptprc protein, mouse