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Keywords:

  • Donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI);
  • Malignant tumor;
  • Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD);
  • Graft-versus-tumor (GvT) effect;
  • Intra-bone marrow–bone marrow transplantation (IBM-BMT)

Abstract

Donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) is clinically used for the treatment of malignant tumors. We have found recently that intra-bone marrow–bone marrow transplantation (IBM-BMT) can be used to treat various autoimmune diseases, even when radiation doses are reduced. In addition, recently we have found that IBM-BMT can prevent not only graft failure but also graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). Based on these findings, we attempted to prevent and treat the progression of a tumor (Meth-A cell line: BALB/c-derived fibrosarcoma) by DLI plus IBM-BMT. When the tumors had grown to approximately 10 × 10 mm, the tumor-bearing BALB/c (H-2d) mice were irradiated with 5 Gy, and whole spleen cells from C57BL/6J (B6) (H-2b) mice (as DLI) were then intravenously injected into the BALB/c mice. Simultaneously, bone marrow cells (BMCs) from B6 mice were injected directly into the bone marrow cavity of the BALB/c mice (IBM-BMT). The tumors decreased in size, but the mice died of GvHD. However, when CD4+ T-cell–depleted spleen cells were used for DLI, the recipients showed only mild GvHD and survived longer, due to the slow growth of the tumor. In contrast, when CD8+ T-cell–depleted spleen cells were used for DLI, the recipients showed more severe GvHD than those injected with whole spleen cells. These results suggest that IBM-BMT plus DLI (the depletion or reduction of a certain cell population like CD4+ T cells) could be helpful to suppress both GvHD and tumor growth.