Immune reconstitution after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation depleted of T cells.
Davison GM., Novitzky N., Kline A., Thomas V., Abrahams L., Hale G., Waldmann H.
BACKGROUND: Immune reconstitution following transplantation in individuals who had received T-cell-depleted marrow from HLA identical siblings was serially documented and correlated with the clinical recovery. METHODS: Patients were preconditioned with radiation containing programs. GvHD prophylaxis was by T-cell depletion with CAMPATH 1G (ex vivo; median dose 20 mg). After transplantation lymphoid development was studied by flow cytometry and serum Ig concentrations were determined. Charts were reviewed to determine the effects of the immune reconstitution on the clinical performance. RESULTS: The mean donor mononuclear cell number infused was 0.89x10(8)/kg. Within 6 months all the patients recovered their blood parameters and only one required therapy for GvHD. However, despite normal blood counts, 15 suffered life-threatening opportunistic infections, developing at a median of 24 weeks post grafting, but occurring even after 11 months. At 8 weeks from marrow infusion when leukocyte values had normalized in 15/20, compared to normal, immunophenotyping of blood cells from BMT revealed a significantly reduced mean lymphocyte count (1.06, SD 0.83x10(9)/l; P = 0.01), cells expressing CD3 (0.7x10(9)/l, SD 0.68; P = 0.05), CD4 (0.13x10(9)/l, SD 0.21; P = 0.0001) and CD19 (0.04x10(9)/l, SD 0.05; P = 0.001). Populations expressing CD8 and CD56 remained within normal range throughout the study. Normalization of cell numbers displaying CD2, CD3 and CD19 was delayed until 52, 52 and 24 weeks respectively, while CD4 counts persisted subnormal even at 72 weeks. Serum IgA levels were significantly decreased for the entire study period. CONCLUSIONS: T-cell depletion with CAMPATH 1G while effectively preventing GvHD, also causes clinically significant and prolonged immunosuppression with apparently important clinical implications.