Establishing mixed chimerism is a promising approach for inducing donor-specific transplant tolerance. The establishment and maintenance of mixed chimerism may enable long-term engraftment of organ transplants while minimizing the use of immunosuppressants. Several protocols for inducing mixed chimerism have been reported; however, the exact mechanism underlying the development of immune tolerance remains to be elucidated. Therefore, understanding the kinetics of engraftment during early post-transplant period may provide insight into establishing long-term mixed chimerism and permanent transplant tolerance. In this study, we intentionally induced allogeneic mixed chimerism using a nonmyeloablative regimen by host natural killer (NK) cell depletion and T cell-depleted bone marrow (BM) grafts in a major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-mismatched murine model and analyzed the kinetics of donor (C57BL/6) and recipient (BALB/c) engraftment in the weeks following transplantation. Donor BM cells were well engrafted and stabilized without graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) as early as one week post-bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Donor-derived thymic T cells were reconstituted four weeks after BMT; however, the emergence of newly developed T cells was more obvious at the periphery as early as two weeks after BMT. Also, the emergence and changes in ratio of recipient- and donor-derived NKT cells and antigen presenting cells (APCs) including dendritic cells (DCs) and B cells were noted after BMT. Here, we report a longitudinal analysis of the development of donor-and recipient-originated hematopoietic cells in various lymphatic tissues of intentionally induced mixed chimerism mouse model during early post-transplant period. Through the understanding of immune reconstitution at early time points after nonmyeloablative BMT, we suggest guidelines on intentionally inducing durable mixed chimerism.
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© 2015 Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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