Substantial barriers exist to the engraftment of hematopoietic cells in mice after in utero transplantation. Although high levels of donor-derived hematopoiesis have been reported in SCID mice, the majority of chimeric recipients exhibit decreasing levels of donor cells over time. To directly test whether the natural killer cell and macrophage activity of the recipients represents a barrier to sustained engraftment, fetal NOD/SCID mice were injected on day 13.5 of gestation with an enriched congenic hematopoietic progenitor cell population. Forty-four percent of pups showed the presence of Ly5.1+ donor cells 4 weeks after transplantation. The mean number of donor-derived nucleated cells in the peripheral blood (PB) was 30%. Although the majority of circulating donor cells were lymphocytes, up to 15% expressed myelomonocytic markers. Serial PB samples from individual mice indicated that the percentage of circulating donor cells increased from 17% to 55% between 4 and 24 weeks. At 6 months posttransplantation, an increased frequency of multilineage, donor-derived cells was also observed in the bone marrow (BM) and the spleen of chimeric recipients. The engraftment of pluripotent hematopoietic stem cells was evaluated by transplanting BM from chimeric mice into irradiated congenic recipients. Irradiated secondary recipients also exhibited multilineage donor-derived hematopoiesis in the PB, BM, and spleen for up to 6 months. These results show that the in utero transplantation of lineage-depleted BM cells into NOD/SCID recipients produces a high frequency of sustained engraftment of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology