Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
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Factors affecting success of thymus transplantation for complete DiGeorge anomaly.

Thymus transplantation shows promise for the treatment of athymia in complete DiGeorge anomaly. This report reviews the effects of dose of thymus tissue, ABO compatibility, HLA matching, culture conditions, age of donor and immunosuppression of recipient on immune outcomes at 1 year after transplantation. Forty-nine athymic subjects have been treated with cultured postnatal allogeneic thymus tissue; 36 (73%) survive with only one subject on immunosuppression at 1.5 years. Of 31 surviving subjects more than 1 year after transplantation, 30 (97%) developed naive T cells, T-cell proliferative responses to mitogens and a diverse T-cell receptor beta variable (TCRBV) repertoire. The dose of thymus tissue, HLA matching and use of immunosuppression had nonsignificant effects on these outcome variables. Removal of deoxyguanosine from culture medium and length of culture did not adversely affect outcomes. Use of thymus tissue from donors over 1 month of age, versus under 1 month, resulted in higher total T-cell numbers (p = 0.03). However, this finding must be confirmed in a prospective trial. Although subtle immune effects may yet be associated with some of the factors tested, it is remarkable that consistently good immune outcomes result despite variation in dose, HLA matching and use of immunosuppression.

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