Use of gene therapy to induce human-mouse xenogeneic chimerism

I. J. Fox, E. Athan, J. Fisher, B. T. Baxter, S. Podda, C. Richardson, C. C. Baker, M. W. Flye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background. Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) has been used in the laboratory to overcome the immunologic barriers to xenotransplantation and results in chimerism and specific tolerance to donor antigens in lethally irradiated mice. Clinically, BMT carries the considerable risks of graft- versus-host disease and graft failure. Retrovirus-mediated gene transfer could provide a means of introducing foreign major histocompatibility (MHC) genes into host bone marrow cells (BMC) and thus accomplish the immunologic goals of BMT, without the associated risks. Methods. Using a Moloney virus- based vector, a replication defective retrovirus was constructed that contained a complementary DNA encoding the human MHC antigen HLA-A2. Three million C57BL/6 mouse BMC were cocultured for 48 hours with 1 x 106 HLA-A2 virus 'producer' cells in the presence of 15% WEHI supernatant (interleukin- 3) and 200 units/ml interleukin-6. Putatively infected BMC were then used at 2 to 3 x 106 BMC/animal to reconstitute lethally irradiated syngeneic mice. Results. Twelve days after reconstitution, spleen colonies were found to have integrated the full-length retroviral sequences. Thirty days after BMT, the introduced DNA could be found in the bone marrow, thymus, and spleen, and approximately 5% of T cells in the spleen expressed the HLA-A2 surface antigen. Conclusions. These data show that xenogeneic MHC genes can be introduced and expressed in mouse hematopoietic cells in vivo and indicate that gene therapy potentially may be used in the future to manipulate the immune system to induce transplantation tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-182
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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