09 October 2002
Transdifferentiation, Bone marrow transplantation, T cell depletion, Total body irradiation, Stable mixed chimerism, Hematopoietic stem cells, Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, Autoimmune diseases, treatment/prevention, Mixed allogeneic plus syngeneic bone marrow transplantation/hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Scientific analyses fortified by interpretations of immunodeficiency diseases as ‘experiments of nature’ have revealed the specific immune systems to be comprised of T cells subserving cell-mediated immunities plus B cells and plasma cells which produce and secrete antibodies. These two separate cellular systems regularly interact with each other to produce a coordinated defense which permits mammals to live within a sea of microorganisms that threaten the integrity and the survival of individuals. We have shown that bone marrow transplantation (BMT) can be used as a form of cellular engineering to construct or reconstruct the immune systems and cure otherwise fatal severe combined immunodeficiency. When severe aplastic anemia complicated the first BMT which was performed to cure a fatal severe combined immunodeficiency, a second BMT cured for the first time a complicating severe aplastic anemia. Subsequently, BMT has been used effectively to treat some 75 otherwise fatal diseases such as resistant leukemias, lymphomas, inborn errors of metabolism, and genetic anomalies of the hematopoietic development such as sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, congenital neutropenias, and many other diseases. More recently, we have employed BMT in mice both to cure and cause autoimmunities, and, together, these experiments showed that autoimmunities actually reside in the hematopoietic stem cells. We have also found that mixed BMT or mixed hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) can be used to prevent and cure the most complex autoimmunities such as those occurring in BXSB mice and in (NZW × BXSB)F1 W/BF1 mice. Untreated, the former develop fulminating lethal glomerulonephritis plus numerous humoral autoimmunities. Mice of the (W/B)F1 strain develop autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura, coronary vascular disease with myocardial infarction, glomerulonephritis, and numerous autoantibodies. All of these abnormalities are prevented or cured by mixed syngeneic (autoimmune) plus allogeneic (normal healthy) BMT or mixed peripheral blood HSCT. Thus, the most complex autoimmune diseases can be prevented or cured in experimental animals by mixed syngeneic plus allogeneic BMT or HSCT which produce stable mixed chimerism as a form of cellular engineering.