It has not been possible to determine the singular contribution of naive T lymphocytes to antigen-specific immunity after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), because of the confounding effects of donor-derived antigen-specific T lymphocytes present in most hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) products. Because umbilical cord blood contains only naive T lymphocytes, we longitudinally evaluated the recipients of unrelated cord blood transplantation (UCBT) for the presence of T lymphocytes with specificity for herpesviruses, to determine the contribution of the naive T lymphocytes to antigen-specific immune reconstitution after HSCT. Antigen-specific T lymphocytes were detected early after UCBT (herpes simplex virus on day 29; cytomegalovirus on day 44; varicella zoster virus on day 94). Overall, 66 of 153 UCBT recipients developed antigen-specific T lymphocytes to 1 or more herpesviruses during the evaluation period. The likelihood of developing antigen-specific T lymphocyte function was not associated with immunophenotypic T lymphocyte reconstitution, transplant cell dose, primary disease, or acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease. These results indicate that naive T lymphocytes present in the HSC inoculum can contribute to the generation of antigen-specific T-lymphocyte immunity early after transplantation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute through contracts N01-HB-67135 (R.P., K.I.W., B.M.), N01-HB-67132 (G.C., S.L.C., N.A.K.), N01-HB-67139 (J.E.W.), N01-HB-67138 (J.K.), and N01-HB-67113 (E.G.) and grant P01-CA100265 (R.P.). We are indebted to Ms. Manuela Alvarez-Wilson and Ms. Angela Norman for their assistance in the preparation of this manuscript.
- Antigen-specific immune function
- Cord blood transplantation
- Immune reconstitution