The role of the vascularized bone marrow component as a continuous source of donor-derived hematopoietic stem cells that facilitate tolerance induction of vascularized composite allografts is not completely understood. In this study, vascularized composite tissue allograft transplantation outcomes between recipients receiving either conventional bone marrow transplantation (CBMT) or vascularized bone marrow (VBM) transplantation from Balb/c (H2d) to C57BL/6 (H2b) mice were compared. Either high- or low-dose CBMT (1.5 × 108 or 3 × 107 bone marrow cells, respectively) was applied. In addition, recipients were treated with costimulation blockade (1 mg anti-CD154 and 0.5 mg CTLA4Ig on postoperative days 0 and 2, respectively) and short-term rapamycin (3 mg/kg/day for the first posttransplant week and then every other day for another 3 weeks). Similar to high-dose conventional bone marrow transplantation, 5/6 animals in the vascularized bone marrow group demonstrated long-term allograft survival (>120 days). In contrast, significantly shorter median survival was noted in the low-dose CBMT group (~64 days). Consistently high chimerism levels were observed in the VBM transplantation group. Notably, low levels of circulating CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and a higher ratio of Treg to Teff cells were maintained in VBM transplantation and high-dose CBMT recipients (>30 days) but not in low-dose VBM transplant recipients. Donor-specific hyporesponsiveness was shown in tolerant recipients in vitro. Removal of the vascularized bone marrow component after secondary donor-specific skin transplantation did not affect either primary allograft or secondary skin graft survival.
- Costimulation blockade
- Donor-specific tolerance
- Vascularized bone marrow transplantation
- Vascularized composite allotransplantation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Infectious Diseases