We have previously postulated that donor cell chimerism in organ transplantation is needed to attain a tolerant state. Here we show that donor cell chimerism can be augmented in organ recipients if they are infused perioperatively with 3 x 108 per kg of unmodified donor bone marrow cells and are kept on a conventional immunosuppressive regimen of tacrolimus (FK506) and prednisolone. 36 patients took part, of whom the first 18 patients have good transplanted kidney (n = 10), liver (n = 7), and heart (n = 7) function when followed up between 4 and 16 months. All patients are well. We found persistent multilineage leucocyte chimerism in blood of 17 recipients by flow cytometry and PCR techniques to detect donor alleles or Y chromosomes in female recipients of male organs. The use of the 5-antigen HLA matched same sex donor precluded detection of chimerism in one patient.
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