Analysis of tolerance induction using triple chimeric mice: major histocompatibility complex-disparate thymus, hemopoietic cells, and microenvironment

Wenhao Cui, Naoki Hosaka, Takashi Miyake, Xiaoli Wang, Kequan Guo, Yunze Cui, Qiang Li, Changye Song, Wei Feng, Qing Li, Takashi Takaki, Teruhisa Nishida, Muneo Inaba, Susumu Ikehara
Transplantation 2008 April 27, 85 (8): 1151-8

BACKGROUND: Although bone marrow transplantation (BMT) has become a valuable strategy for the treatment of various intractable diseases in recent years, success rates remain low in elderly patients because of low thymic function. We have previously shown that fetal thymus transplantation (TT) with BMT is effective for elderly recipients in mice.

METHODS: We performed fully major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-mismatched fetal TT from B6 (H-2) mice plus allogeneic BMT from C3H/HeN (H-2) mice by intra-bone marrow-BMT (IBM-BMT) using congenitally athymic nude (nu/nu) BALB/c (H-2), or BALB/c adult-thymectomized recipients to obtain triple chimeras. We next carried out the IBM-BMT+TT using senescence-accelerated mouse P1 strain (SAMP1) to examine whether this method would be applicable to aging mice.

RESULTS: Triple chimeric mice survived for a long period with sufficient T-cell functions comparable to the mice treated with BMT plus MHC-matched TT, whereas those without TT survived for a short period with insufficient T-cell reconstitution. Almost all the hematolymphoid cells were derived from donor bone marrow cells. Interestingly, they showed tolerance to all three types of MHC determinants with donor-derived thymic dendritic cells in TT. Triple chimeric SAMP1 also survived for long periods with T-cell functions restored in contrast to non-TT SAMP1 recipients.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that third party combined TT with allogeneic IBM-BMT may be more advantageous for elderly recipients with low thymic function, than IBM-BMT alone (without TT).

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