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Authors van Halteren AG, Jankowska-Gan E, Joosten A, Blokland E, Pool J, Brand A, Burlingham WJ, Goulmy E
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Journal Blood Volume: 114 Issue: 11 Pages: 2263-72
Publish Date 2009 Sep 10
PubMed ID 19506299
PMC ID 3402366

Bidirectional cell transfer during pregnancy frequently leads to postpartum persistence of allogeneic cells and alloimmune responses in both the mother and in her offspring. The life-long consequences of naturally acquired alloimmune reactivity are probably of importance for the outcome of allogeneic stem cell transplantation. We investigated the presence of CD8 minor histocompatibility (H) antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (T(CTL)) and CD8 minor H antigen-specific T regulator cells (T(REG)) in peripheral blood cells obtained from 17 minor H antigen-disparate mother-offspring pairs. Absence of minor H antigen-specific T(REG), as marked by the feasibility to expand T(CTL) from isolated tetramer(pos) populations, was observed in 6 mothers and 1 son. The presence of minor H alloantigen-specific T(REG) was observed in 4 mothers and 5 sons. These T(REG) were detected within isolated tetramer(dim) staining fractions and functioned in a CTLA-4-dependent fashion. Our study indicates that both T(CTL) and T(REG) mediated alloimmunity against minor H antigens may be present in healthy female and male hematopoietic stem cell donors, potentially influencing graft-versus-host reactivity in different ways.

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