Differential recovery of phenotypically and functionally distinct circulating antigen-presenting cells after allogeneic marrow transplantation

Joyce E. Reittie, Len W. Poulter, H. Grant Prentice, John Burns, Hans G. Drexler, Brigid Balfour, John Clarke, A. Victor Hoffbrand, James O’D McGee, Malcolm K. Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Low-density cells (LDC) prepared from peripheral blood by fractionation over hypertonic metrizamide contain 95% of cells with veiled morphology, almost all of which are HLA-DR-positive and have characteristics of antigen-presenting cells. In normal individuals the monoclonal antibodies RFD1 and RFD2 divide these cells into three phenotypically distinct populations, D1+D2-, D1-D2+ and D1-D2-. The RFD1-positive population is nonphagocytic. We have investigated the recovery of LDC in peripheral blood after (T cell-depleted) marrow transplantation, to assess whether defects in antigen-presenting cell (APC) subpopulations could contribute to the prolonged immune-paresis of marrow graft recipients. We find that APC of donor origin and with apparently normal morphology, phenotype, and function appear within 6 weeks of BMT. By three months the donor-derived nonphagocytic RFD1-positive subset has disappeared, although phagocytic RFD2-positive cells remain. The disappearance of the RFD1-positive subset is associated with a loss of antigen presentation by patients' LDC of the soluble protein antigen tetanus toxoid, though the capacity to present alloantigen and stimulate in a mixed lymphocyte reaction is retained. Donor-derived RFD1-positive cells and soluble antigen-presenting capacity do not reappear for one year or more. This biphasic recovery of RFD1-positive cells contrasted with the continued production of RFD2-positive APC, implies that the phenotypic and functional distinction between APC subpopulations in peripheral blood also reflects a separate ontogeny. Since these marrow graft recipients retain the phagocytic (RFD2-positive) APC but lose the nonphagocytic (RFD1-positive) APC subset, there is now an opportunity to explore the role of each subset in antigen processing and presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1084-1090
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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