Progress toward Production of Immunologic Tolerance with No or Minimal Toxic Immunosuppression for Prevention of Immunodeficiency and Autoimmune Diseases
- Robert A. Good
- World Journal of Surgery
MRL/MP-Ipr/Ipr (MRL/Ipr) mice possess radioresistant (9.5 Gy) abnormal stem cells and show a recurrence of autoimmune diseases within 5 mo of conventional allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. We recently have found that the MHC preference exists between hemopoietic stem cells and stromal cells; when bones are engrafted, donor-derived stromal cells present in the engrafted bones can migrate into the recipient bone marrows, which are replaced with both donor-derived stromal cells and hematopoietic cells. Based on these findings, we attempted to prevent the recurrence of autoimmune diseases in MRL/Ipr mice by the transplantation of both bone marrow cells and bone (as a source of stromal cells). MRL/Ipr mice were irradiated (8.5 Gy) and then reconstituted with C57BL/6 bone marrow cells plus bone grafts. The mice survived more than 48 wk after this treatment. Immunohistologic studies revealed that the mice were completely free from both lymphadenopathy and autoimmune diseases such as lupus nephritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Sera from these mice showed normal levels of circulating immune complexes and rheumatoid factors. Normal functions of both T cells and B cells were noted. Abnormal T cells such as Thy-1+B220+ cells present in nontreated MRL/Ipr mice could not be seen in the thus-treated mice. In addition, to our surprise, spleen cells from treated mice showed completely normal in vitro primary anti-SRBC responses. These results indicate that stromal cells in allogeneic bone marrow transplantation play a crucial role not only in the prevention of graft failure but also in the successful cooperation among APCs, T cells, and B cells. Although MRL/Ipr mice are radiosensitive and usually die of interstitial pneumonia or fatty liver due to the side effects of radiation, it should be noted that this strategy allows a reduction in the radiation dose (9.5 Gy-->8.5 Gy), and that these mice can survive more than 48 wk without showing any symptoms of autoimmune diseases.