The contribution of cytotoxic and noncytotoxic function by donor T-cells that support engraftment after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation

Zhe Jiang, Gregor B. Adams, Alan M. Hanash, David T. Scadden, Robert B. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The present studies were designed for investigation of the requirements for cytotoxic function in donor T-cells transplanted to support engraftment after infusion of allogeneic bone marrow. The experiments examined the capacity of donor CD8+ T-cells lacking Fas ligand and/or perforin function to facilitate donor B6 congenic (B6-Ly5.1) BM engraftment across major histocompatibility complex class I/II barriers after transplantation. T-cell-depleted BM cells from B6-Ly5.1 donors were transplanted into sublethally irradiated (5.5 Gy) BALB/c recipients together with different lymphocyte populations from wild-type B6 (B6-wt) donors or donors lacking functional cytotoxic pathways. Early presence of lineage-committed donor progenitor cells was assessed by the presence of day 5 splenic colony-forming units-granulocyte-macrophage (CFU-GM). Recipients of BMT without donor T-cells did not demonstrate significant CFU-GM activity 5 days post-BMT. Lineage-committed progenitor cells in recipient spleens could be supported by addition to the BM of wild-type (B6-wt) and cytotoxically single- (perforin, B6-pko or FasL, B6-gld) or double-deficient (B6-cdd) CD8+ T-cells. However, B220+-enriched B-cells could not support the presence of day 5 donor CFU-GM. For further assessment of the capacity of cytotoxically impaired T-cells to participate in the engraftment process, the ability of these and normal CD8 cells to support the homing of donor cells to the BM was examined after infusion of carboxyfluorescein diacetete succinimidyl ester-labeled progenitors. In a syngeneic model lacking resistance, cytotoxically impaired donor T-cells supported increased numbers of progenitor cells in the marrow equivalent to the support provided by wild-type donor T-cells. Examination of peripheral chimerism indicated that during the first month after B6→BALB/c BMT, donor chimerism was detected in BMT recipients receiving unfractionated T-cells or CD8+ T-cells from B6-wt donors, and chimerism was maintained at least 80 days after BMT. In contrast, B6-cdd unfractionated or CD8+ T-cells failed to maintain long-term B6 donor chimerism in the host. Experiments with highly enriched populations of positively selected CD8+ T-cells from B6-pko, B6-gld, or B6-cdd donors demonstrated that although each of these T-cell populations could promote the initial presence of donor CFU-GM early post-BMT, B6-pko and B6-cdd CD8+ T-cell populations were not able to support long-term peripheral chimerism. These results demonstrate that donor T-cells lacking major cytotoxic effector pathways have functions that support initial donor progenitor cell presence in the host hematopoietic compartment after BMT. They also demonstrate that support of long-term donor BM engraftment requires CD8+ T-cells with intact cytotoxic, that is, perforin, function. Finally, syngeneic B6→B6 BMT suggests activation of CD8+ T-cells posttransplantation apparently is required to support enhanced progenitor cell activity. This study provides new findings concerning the role of cytotoxic function in the process of facilitating allogeneic donor BM engraftment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-596
Number of pages9
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2002


  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • CD8 T-cell cytotoxicity
  • Engraftment
  • Facilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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