Prediction of T-cell reconstitution by assessment of T-cell receptor excision circle before allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in pediatric patients.


Journal Article

The extent and rapidity with which T cells are regenerated from graft-derived precursor cells directly influences the incidence of infection and the T-cell-based graft-versus-tumor effect. Measurement of T-cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) in peripheral blood is a means of quantifying recent thymic T-cell production and has been used after transplantation in many studies to estimate thymus-dependent T-cell reconstitution. We hypothesized that the quality of thymic function before transplantation affects thymus-dependent T-cell reconstitution after transplantation. We used real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to quantify signal-joint TRECs (sjTRECs) before and after transplantation. T-cell reconstitution was evaluated by T-cell receptor beta (TCRbeta) CDR3 size spectratyping. We tested 77 healthy sibling donors and 244 samples from 26 pediatric recipients of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT). Blood from the healthy donors contained 1200 to 155,000 sjTREC copies/mL blood. Patients who had greater than 1200 copies/mL blood before transplantation showed early recovery of sjTREC numbers and TCRbeta repertoire diversity. In contrast, patients who had fewer than 1200 copies/mL blood before transplantation demonstrated significantly slower restoration of thymus-dependent T cells. We conclude that the rate of reconstitution of thymus-dependent T cells is dependent on the competence of thymic function in the recipients before transplantation. Therefore, pretransplantation measurement of sjTREC may provide an important tool for predicting thymus-dependent T-cell reconstitution after transplantation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chen, X; Barfield, R; Benaim, E; Leung, W; Knowles, J; Lawrence, D; Otto, M; Shurtleff, SA; Neale, GAM; Behm, FG; Turner, V; Handgretinger, R

Published Date

  • January 15, 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 105 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 886 - 893

PubMed ID

  • 15358630

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15358630

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-4971

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1182/blood-2004-04-1405


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States