Flt3-L Augments the Engraftment of Donor-Derived Bone Marrow Cells When Combined With Sublethal Irradiation and Costimulatory (CD28/B7 and CD40/CD40L) Blockade
T-cell costimulatory blockade as a constituent for recipient conditioning prior to bone marrow transplantation has led to the development of less toxic protocols for the establishment of donor cell chimerism. We therefore hypothesized that the addition of the hematopoietic growth factor, Flt3-ligand (Flt3-L), to the perioperative inhibition of the CD28/B7 and CD40/CD40 ligand costimulatory pathways would enhance the engraftment of allogeneic bone marrow. Recipient BALB/c ByJ (H-2d, Mlsc, Vβ6+/Vβ8+ TCR) received a single sublethal dose of total body irradiation (300 rad) 6 h prior to transplantation IV with unfractionated donor CBA/J (H-2k, Mlsd, Vβ6-/Vβ8+ TCR) bone marrow cells. CTLA4-Ig and/or MR1 were administered at 500 μg IP on days 0, 2, 4, and 6 posttransplantation. Flt3-L was administered at 10 μg IP on days 0–6. Donor cell chimerism was determined on days 30–90 by flow cytometric analysis. Donor-specific tolerance was assessed by skin grafting. In vitro TCR cross-linking assays and flow cytometry were utilized to explore the deletion of donor-reactive T cells. Recipients receiving CTLA4-Ig and MR1 engrafted allogeneic bone marrow cells in the peripheral blood (3/6; 50%) with chimerism being detected at 2–31%. Addition of Flt3-L to this preconditioning regimen enhanced the incidence of engraftment of donor bone marrow cells (10/13; 3–70%). Long-term survival of donor but not third-party-specific skin grafts demonstrated that donor- specific tolerance had been achieved in the chimeric recipients. Deletion of the donor-reactive T cells within the chimeric recipients was also observed. The addition of hematopoietic growth factors and cytokines to the nonmyeloablative regimen of sublethal irradiation and T-cell costimulatory blockade provides a novel strategy for the establishment of donor cell chimerism and for the induction of stable and robust donor-specific tolerance. The deletion of donor-reactive T cells using this protocol suggests the reliability and feasibility of this protocol for clinical transplantation.
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Key words: Flt3-ligand
Document Type: Research Article
*Section of Cellular Transplantation, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, and the Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh PA 15261
†Section of Cellular Transplantation, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, and the Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh PA 15261
Publication date: 2002-02-01
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