Recovery of antibody production in human allogeneic marrow graft recipients: influence of time posttransplantation, the presence or absence of chronic graft-versus-host disease, and antithymocyte globulin treatment.
One-hundred fifty-three recipients of HLA-identical sibling marrow transplants for aplastic anemia or hematologic malignancy were injected with bacteriophage phi X174 (phage), pneumococcal polysaccharide antigen (PPA), or keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH). Antibody levels were determined several times in the 6 wk after injection. Multiple regression techniques were used to determine what factors played significant roles in the antibody response. The most significant factors were the time elapsed from transplantation, chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and antithymocyte globulin (ATG) treatment. All patients had low antibody responses to all antigens in the first 180 days from transplant. Beyond 180 days patients without chronic GVHD showed antibody responses indistinguishable from those of normal donors. However, patients with chronic GVHD had the following impairments: (1) primary response to phage, (2) conversion from IgM to IgG in secondary response to phage, (3) secondary response to KLH, and (4) response to PPA. ATG treatment given to patients either prophylactically or therapeutically for acute GVHD was followed by lower primary responses to phage in the first 180 days and poor ability to switch from IgM to IgG antibody in the secondary response beyond 180 days postgrafting. Other factors did not yield additional significant information about ability to predict antibody responses including diagnosis, conditioning regimen, treatment in or out of laminar air flow rooms, transplantation, pretransplant refractoriness of the recipient to platelet transfusions from random donors, donor age or donor sex, and steroid administration for treatment for prevention of GVHD. The data indicate that, given enough time after transplantation, the ability to produce normal antibody function recovers except in those patients experiencing chronic GVHD.
Witherspoon, RP; Storb, R; Ochs, HD; Fluornoy, N; Kopecky, KJ; Sullivan, KM; Deeg, JH; Sosa, R; Noel, DR; Atkinson, K; Thomas, ED
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