Chimerism studies in HLA-identical nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation point to the donor CD8+ T-cell count on day +14 as a predictor of acute graft-versus-host disease
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Chimerism analysis of hematopoietic cells has emerged as an essential tool in nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. We have investigated the development of donor chimerism in granulocytes and CD4 ؉ and CD8 ؉ T cells in blood and bone marrow of 24 patients with hematologic malignancies who received HLA-identical sibling peripheral blood stem cell grafts after conditioning with fludarabine and 2 Gy of total body irradiation. The T-cell chimerism of blood and bone marrow was
... htly correlated. Complete donor chimerism was reached earlier in the granulocytes than in the T cells. Mixed T-cell chimerism was common at the time of onset of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD), and both CD4 ؉ and CD8 ؉ donor T-cell chimerism increased with the occurrence of aGVHD grades II to IV (P ؍ .0002 and P ؍ .019, respectively). The rate of disappearance of recipient CD8 ؉ T cells was faster in patients with aGVHD grades II to IV than in patients without clinically significant aGVHD (P ؍ .016). This observation indicates a role of graft-versuslymphohematopoietic tissue reactions in creating complete donor T-cell chimerism. A donor CD8 ؉ T-cell count above the median on day ؉14 increased the risk of subsequent development of aGVHD grades II to IV (P ؍ .003).