Author(s): Kushida T
Intractable autoimmune diseases in chimeric resistant MRL/lpr mice were treated by a new bone marrow transplantation (BMT) method consisting of fractionated irradiation, 5.5 Gy x 2, followed by intra-bone marrow (IBM) injection of whole bone marrow cells (BMCs) from allogeneic normal C57BL/6 (B6) mice (5.5 Gy x 2 + IBM). In MRL/lpr mice treated with this method, the number of donor-derived cells in the bone marrow, spleen, and liver rapidly increased (almost 100% donor-derived cells by 14 days after the treatment), and the number of donor-derived hemopoietic progenitor cells concomitantly increased. Furthermore, donor-derived stromal cells were clearly detected in the cultured bone pieces from MRL/lpr mice treated with 5.5 Gy x 2 + IBM. All the recipients thus treated survived more than 1 year (> 60 weeks after birth) and remained free from autoimmune diseases. Autoantibodies decreased to almost normal levels, and abnormal T cells (Thy1.2(+)/B220(+)/CD4(-)/CD8(-)) disappeared. Hematolymphoid cells were reconstituted with donor-derived cells, and newly developed T cells were tolerant to both donor (B6)-type and host (MRL/lpr)-type major histocompatibility complex determinants. Successful cooperation was achieved among T cells, B cells, and antigen-presenting cells when evaluated by in vitro antisheep red blood cell responses. These findings clearly indicate that this new strategy (IBM-BMT) creates the appropriate hemopoietic environment for the early recovery of hemopoiesis and donor cell engraftment, resulting in the complete amelioration of intractable autoimmune diseases in chimeric resistant MRL/lpr mice without recourse to immunosuppressants. This strategy would therefore be suitable for human therapy.