Author Affiliations

  1. EM Villaron,
  2. J Almeida,
  3. N Lopez-Holgado,
  4. M Alcoceba,
  5. LI Sanchez-Abarca,
  6. FM Sanchez-Guijo,
  7. M Alberca,
  8. JA Perez-Simon,
  9. JF San Miguel and
  10. MC Del Canizo
  1. Hematology Dept., Hospital Universitario de Salamanca, Paseo San Vicente 58-182, 37007 Salamanca, Spain.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Whether human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) can be transplanted is controversial and their presence in peripheral blood is not fully accepted. In the present study we have analyzed whether, within the allogeneic transplantation setting, MSC are of host or donor origin. DESIGN AND METHODS: Bone marrow MSC from 19 patients who had undergone allogeneic transplantation were expanded and identified using immunophenotypic markers. After that, chimerism studies were performed using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction of short tandem repeat (STR) loci. Analyses were carried out at different time-points after transplantation, with a total of 44 samples studied. Bone marrow was used as the source of stem cells for transplantation in 4 cases and peripheral blood in 15 cases. The conditioning regimen was standard in 9 patients and non-myeloablative in 10 patients. RESULTS: Our results show that in the great majority of cases analyzed (17 out 19), MSC were of host origin. However, in 2 patients with multiple myeloma who had received a reduced intensity transplantation using peripheral blood stem cells, MSC were partially of donor origin (60.17% and 26.13% of total MSC). INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that after allogeneic transplantation MSC from the donor can engraft in bone marrow. Moreover, since the stem cells were obtained from peripheral blood, it can be concluded that MSC circulate among mobilized peripheral blood stem cells and can engraft in bone marrow after allogeneic transplantation.