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Abstract

Pediatric recipients (n = 25) of an allogeneic bone marrow (BM) graft were selected on the basis of informative IgG allotype (Gm) differences between the BM donor and the recipient. To investigate the kinetics of the appearance of IgG of donor origin and the disappearance of IgG of recipient origin, G1m and G2m allotype levels were quantified in sera obtained at regular intervals between 3 months and 5 years after BM transplantation (BMT). For this quantification, a dot immunobinding assay (DIBA) has been developed. In 19 of 22 informative recipients, the Gm allotype distribution had reached the range of values expected on the basis of the Gm phenotype of the donor within 6 months after BMT. Remarkably, IgG of recipient origin persisted in 15 of 18 informative recipients until last follow up, ie, for several years after BMT. In addition to the origin of total IgG production, the origin of homogeneous IgG components (H-IgG) appearing after BMT was investigated. H-IgG of donor origin could be detected as early as 3 weeks after BMT, but also H-IgG of recipient origin were present in 8 of 13 informative recipients for a period of up to 1 year after BMT. We conclude that host-type IgG-producing cells were not eradicated by the (myeloablative) conditioning regimen and persisted in a high number of graft recipients. It is our hypothesis that lack of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in the majority of these recipients results in the persistence of IgG-producing cells of host origin. These observations may be relevant for the evaluation of patients who received allogeneic BMT for the treatment of multiple myeloma.