In humans, autologous transplants derived from bone marrow (BM) usually engraft more slowly than transplants derived from mobilized peripheral blood. Allogeneic BM transplants show a further delay in engraftment and have an apparent requirement for donor T cells to facilitate engraftment. In mice, Thy-1.1(lo)Lin-/loSca-1+ hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are the principal population in BM which is responsible for engraftment in syngeneic hosts at radioprotective doses, and higher doses of HSCs can radioprotect an allogeneic host in the absence of donor T cells. Using the mouse as a preclinical model, we wished to test to what extent engraftment kinetics was a function of HSC content, and whether at high doses of c-Kit+Thy-1.1(lo)Lin-/loSca-1+ (KTLS) cells rapid allogeneic engraftment could also be achieved. Here we demonstrate that engraftment kinetics varied greatly over the range of KTLS doses tested (100-10,000 cells), with the most rapid engraftment being obtained with a dose of 5,000 or more syngeneic cells. Mobilized splenic KTLS cells and the rhodamine 123(lo) subset of KTLS cells were also able to engraft rapidly. Higher doses of allogeneic cells were needed to produce equivalent engraftment kinetics. This suggests that in mice even fully allogeneic barriers can be traversed with high doses of HSCs, and that in humans it may be possible to obtain rapid engraftment in an allogeneic context with clinically achievable doses of purified HSCs.
N Uchida, A Tsukamoto, D He, A M Friera, R Scollay, I L Weissman