Crucial role of FLT3 ligand in immune reconstitution after bone marrow transplantation and high-dose chemotherapy.
Buza-Vidas N., Cheng M., Duarte S., Nozad H., Jacobsen SE., Sitnicka E.
Almost 5 decades after the first clinical transplantations, delayed immune reconstitution remains a considerable hurdle in bone marrow transplantation, and the mechanisms regulating immune reconstitution after transplantation remain to be established. Whereas adult fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand-deficient (FL(-/-)) mice have reduced numbers of early B- and T-cell progenitors, they sustain close to normal levels of mature B and T cells. Herein, we demonstrate that adult bone marrow cells fail to reconstitute B-cell progenitors and conventional B cells in lethally irradiated FL(-/-) recipients, which also display delayed kinetics of T-cell reconstitution. Similarly, FL is essential for B-cell regeneration after chemotherapy-induced myeloablation. In contrast, fetal progenitors reconstitute B lymphopoiesis in FL(-/-) mice, albeit at reduced levels. A critical role of FL in adult B lymphopoiesis is further substantiated by an age-progressive decline in peripheral conventional B cells in FL(-/-) mice, whereas fetally and early postnatally derived B1 and marginal zone B cells are sustained in a FL-independent manner. Thus, FL plays a crucial role in sustaining conventional B lymphopoiesis in adult mice and, as a consequence, our findings implicate a critical role of FL in promoting immune reconstitution after myeloablation and bone marrow transplantation.