Background Persistent mixed chimerism represents a state in which recipient and donor cells stably co-exist after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. However, since in most of the studies reported in literature the engraftment state was observed in the nucleated cells, in this study we determined the donor origin of the mature erythrocytes of patients with persistent mixed chimerism after transplantation for hemoglobinopathies. Results were compared with the engraftment state observed in singly picked out burst-forming unit - erythroid colonies and in the nucleated cells collected from the peripheral blood and from the bone marrow. Design and Methods The donor origin of the erythrocytes was determined analyzing differences on the surface antigens of the erythrocyte suspension after incubation with anti-ABO and/or anti-C, -c, -D, -E and -e monoclonal antibodies by a flow cytometer. Analysis of short tandem repeats was used to determine the donor origin of nucleated cells and burst-forming unit - erythroid colonies singly picked out after 14 days of incubation. Results The proportions of donor-derived nucleated cells in four transplanted patients affected by hemoglobinopathies were 71%, 46%, 15% and 25% at day 1364, 1385, 1314 and 932, respectively. Similar results were obtained for the erythroid precursors, analyzing the donor/recipient origin of the burst-forming unit - erythroid colonies. In contrast, on the same days of observation, the proportions of donor-derived erythrocytes in the four patients with persistent mixed chimerism were 100%, 100%, 73% and 90%. Conclusions Our results showed that most of the erythrocytes present in four long-term transplanted patients affected by hemoglobinopathies and characterized by the presence of few donor engrafted nucleated cells were of donor origin. The indication that small proportions of donor engrafted cells might be sufficient for clinical control of the disease in patients affected by hemoglobinopathies is relevant, although the biological mechanisms underlying these observations need further investigation.
- Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
- Persistent mixed chimerism
ASJC Scopus subject areas