AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Chimerism studies after allogeneic transplantation are usually performed using cytogenetic analysis, PCR-VNTR or PCR-STR. Here, we report an alternative method for following the chimerism status after an HLA-mismatched stem cell transplantation (SCT), detecting the presence of non-shared HLA alleles by reference-strand mediated conformation analysis (RSCA). DESIGN AND METHODS: We tested this new approach on allogeneic related haploidentical SCT, unrelated cord blood transplantation, and HLA-mismatched unrelated donor SCT. The quantification of the chimerism was performed by laser detection of fluorescent-labeled primers on an automated DNA sequencer. RESULTS: In all cases this technique was able to detect mixed chimeras. The technique detected above 5% of residual cells when the analysis was based on HLA-class I and above 3% for HLA-class II. This sensitivity is similar to that of the PCR-VNTR analysis. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: This method avoids the need to search for an informative locus (which is essential for PCR-VNTR or -STR). Moreover, we did not find the phenomenon of preferential amplification that is observed with most VNTR, thus avoiding the need for construction of standard curves to quantify mixed chimeras. We conclude that the detection of the non-shared HLA alleles by RSCA is a useful approach for chimerism follow-up after HLA-mismatched SCT.
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Vol. 85 No. 8 (2000): August, 2000 : Evaluation Studies
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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