Recent interest in bone marrow (BM) transplantation in nonconditioned or minimally conditioned recipients warrants investigation of homing patterns of transplanted hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) in irradiated and nonirradiated recipients. To this end, phenotypically defined populations of BM cells were tracked in lethally irradiated or nonirradiated mice at 1, 3, 6, and 24 hours after transplantation. Recovery of transplanted cells at all time points was higher in BM of nonirradiated mice, similar to earlier suggestions. The percentage of lineagenegative Sca-1+ cells and Sca-1+ cells expressing CD43, CD49e, and CD49d steadily increased in BM of nonirradiated mice up to 24 hours, while fluctuating in irradiated mice. Cell cycle status and BrdU incorporation revealed that less than 20% of Sca-1+ cells and fewer Sca-1+lin- cells had cycled by 24 hours after transplantation. To more directly examine trafficking of primitive HPCs, purified grafts of CD62L- or CD49e+ subfractions of Sca-1+lin- cells, previously shown to be enriched for long-term repopulating cells, also were tracked in vivo. Recovery of purified cells was similarly increased in BM of nonirradiated mice. When 50 to 100 of these BM-homed cells were examined in serial transplantation studies, BM-homed cells from initially nonirradiated mice were enriched 5- to 30-fold for cells capable of long-term hematopoiesis in secondary recipients. Collectively, these data suggest that homing or survival of transplanted cells in irradiated recipients is less efficient than that in nonirradiated recipients, implicating an active role of radiation-sensitive microenvironmental cues in the homing process. These results may have important clinical implications in the design of BM transplantation protocols.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology