Natural killer cell activity following T-cell depleted allogeneic bone marrow transplantation

Br J Haematol. 1986 Mar;62(3):413-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.1986.tb02952.x.


We have examined the recovery of natural killer (NK) cell function in seven recipients of MHC matched T cell depleted bone marrow allografts. NK cell activity against the erythroblastoid line K562 recovers 2-3 weeks after transplantation. Recipients also show a high level of killing of the T cell target HSB2 and of EBV transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (B-LCL). This activity peaks at 4-6 weeks and declines towards normal by 12-14 weeks after transplantation. Although killing of HSB2 and B-LCL is usually the property of activated NK cells, few of these patients had any obvious 'trigger' of such activation: none had CMV infection, there were no episodes of graft rejection, and only two patients had mild and transient grade I graft versus host disease (GvHD). We conclude that T cell depletion does not affect the reconstitution of NK cell function and that NK cell activation occurs after T depleted bone marrow transplantation even in the absence of clinically detectable GvHD, graft rejection or CMV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation*
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Leukemia / immunology
  • Leukemia / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Period
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*