Role of Lymphocytes in Graft-Versus-Host Disease and its Prevention

  • D. W. van Bekkum
Part of the Developments in Hematology and Immunology book series (DIHI, volume 10)


The most frequent complication to occur after the take of an incompatible bone marrow graft is graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in any of its various forms. It is now commonly accepted that this disease is caused by an immunological reaction of T lymphocytes which have been transferred with the graft itself or by T lymphocytes which develop from grafted precursor cells. The GvH reaction is directed against the tissue antigens of the recipient leading to pathological changes in many organs: the skin, the intestinal tract and the liver being most frequently and severely affected. In general, GvHD develops only following transplantation of allogeneic or xenogeneic bone marrow, but a similar syndrome has been observed occasionally when syngeneic bone marrow is grafted under very special conditions. In all animal species studied so far, the symptomatology of GvDH proved to be very similar. Most of the information available today is derived from mice, rats, dogs and monkeys and of course from the human transplant patients.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1984

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  • D. W. van Bekkum

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