In this issue of Blood, Cutler and colleagues present evidence that donor-specific anti-HLA antibodies are associated with graft failure in double umbilical cord blood transplantation (CBT).1 Engraftment of donor cells is the first important step in successful transplantation and, until recently, the causes of engraftment failure remained elusive.
"Until recently, in vitro crossmatching was used to determine compatibility between donors and recipients, and the relationship between a positive crossmatch and graft rejection in allogeneic transplantation is well established. There is strong evidence, that there is a relationship between the presence of preformed DSA and a positive crossmatch, therefore units that elicit an intense antibody response should be avoided [60, 61]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, umbilical cord blood (CB), a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), has been used successfully as an alternative HSC source to treat a variety of hematologic, immunologic, genetic, and oncologic disorders. CB has several advantages, including prompt availability of the transplant, decrease of graft versus host disease (GVHD) and better long-term immune recovery, resulting in a similar long-term survival. Studies have shown that some degree of HLA mismatches is acceptable. This review is intended to outline the main aspects of HLA matching in different settings (related, pediatric, adult, or double-unit HSCT), its effect on transplantation outcome and the role of HLA in donor selection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low incidence of GVHD provides the major rational for pursuing UCB stem cell transplant (UCB SCT). Considerable evidence also suggests a lower rate of recurrence after UCB SCT than after transplantation from adult donors. Recent advances in understanding of the human fetal immune development provide a rational underpinning for these clinical outcomes. The fetal immune system is geared toward maintaining tolerance to foreign antigens, particularly to the maternal antigens to which it is exposed throughout gestation. To this purpose it is dominated by a unique population of peripheral T regulatory cells which actively maintain tolerance. This and other features of the UCB lymphoid system explains the low incidence of GVHD and superior outcomes of UCB SCT with NIMA (non-inherited maternal antigens)-matched grafts. At the same time, highly sensitized maternal microchimeric cells are frequently detected in UCB and likely contribute to superior GVL effects and low rates of disease recurrence in IPA (inherited paternal antigen) matched UCB recipients. But historically erratic and slow hematopoietic recovery after UCB SCT leads to increased early morbidity and mortality, excessive hospitalization and costs. This has held up the widespread utilization of UCB SCT in adults. Here we summarize recent data on UCB SCT with an emphasis on studies of co-infusion of adult CD34 selected hematopoietic stem cells with UCB SCT. This procedure, through transient engraftment of adult hematopoietic stem cells largely overcomes the problem of delayed engraftment. We also briefly discuss unresolved issues and possible future applications of this technology.
Biology of blood and marrow transplantation: journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation 11/2012; 19(5). DOI:10.1016/j.bbmt.2012.11.001 · 3.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Desensitization protocols are being used worldwide to enable kidney transplantation across immunologic barriers, i.e. antibody to donor HLA or ABO antigens, which were once thought to be absolute contraindications to transplantation. Desensitization protocols are also being applied to permit transplantation of HLA mismatched hematopoietic stem cells to patients with antibody to donor HLA, to enhance the opportunity for transplantation of non-renal organs, and to treat antibody-mediated rejection. Although desensitization for organ transplantation carries an increased risk of antibody-mediated rejection, ultimately these transplants extend and enhance the quality of life for solid organ recipients, and desensitization that permits transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells is life saving for patients with limited donor options. Complex patient factors and variability in treatment protocols have made it difficult to identify, precisely, the mechanisms underlying the downregulation of donor-specific antibodies. The mechanisms underlying desensitization may differ among the various protocols in use, although there are likely to be some common features. However, it is likely that desensitization achieves a sort of immune detente by first reducing the immunologic barrier and then by creating an environment in which an autoregulatory process restricts the immune response to the allograft.
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