Polymerase Chain Reaction Based Methods for Assessing Chimerism Following Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplantation

  • Mark Lawler
  • Shaun R. McCann
Part of the Methods in Molecular Medicine™ book series (MIMM, volume 6)


It is important to be able to assess the contribution of donor cells to the graft followmg bone marrow transplantation (BMT), as complete engraftment of marrow progenitors that can give rise to long term donor derived hemopoiesis may be important in long-term disease-free survival. The contribution of the donor marrow, both in terms of filling the marrow “space” created by the intense conditioning regimen and in its ability to mediate a graft versus leukemia effect may be assessed by studying the kinetics of the engraftment process. As BMT involves repopulation of the host hemopoietic system with donor cells, recipients of allogeneic marrow are referred to as hemopoietic chimeras. A donor chimera is an individual who exhibits complete donor hemopoiesis and we would imagine that donor chimertsm carries the best long-term prognosis. A patient who has both donor and recipient cells coexistmg in a stable fashion post-BMT without hematological evidence of relapse or graft rejection is referred to as a mixed chimera. Mixed chimerism may be a prelude to graft rejection or leukemic relapse; therefore, it is important to be able to monitor the presence of these cells in a precise manner.


Polymerase Chain Reaction Tetranucleotide Repeat Mixed Chimerism Donor Leukocyte Infusion Repeat Unit Length 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Lawler
    • 1
  • Shaun R. McCann
    • 1
  1. 1.Sir Patrick Dun Research Laboratory, Department of Haematology and OncologySt. James Hospital and Trinity CollegeDublinIreland

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