Bone marrow transplant donors were immunized with tetanus/diphtheria toxoids 6-7 d before bone marrow donation to investigate the role of B cell subpopulations in reconstitution of humoral immunity. Lymphoblastoid B cells spontaneously producing IgG antitetanus and/or antidiphtheria toxoid were detected in the donor marrows at the time of transplantation. Recipients rapidly demonstrated 3-90-fold increases in serum IgG antitetanus and antidiphtheria toxoid levels. Antidiphtheria fragment A antibody in three donor/recipient pairs demonstrated spectrotypic identity indicating transfer of the donors' response. Reimmunization of three recipients 64-154 d after transplant revealed an IgG antibody response associated with reappearance of spontaneous antibody-producing B cells and an antidiphtheria fragment A response characteristics of the donor's immune response. These observations extend the understanding of the role of B cell subpopulations and provide a basis for specific modulation of immunity in the setting of bone marrow transplantation.
A Saxon, R Mitsuyasu, R Stevens, R E Champlin, H Kimata, R P Gale