We investigated effects of variations in the cellular composition of G-CSF-mobilized peripheral blood progenitor cell (G-PBPC) allografts on clinical outcomes of allogeneic PBPC transplantation. We retrospectively analyzed transplanted doses of various immunocompetent cells from 27 HLA-identical sibling donors in relation to engraftment, incidence of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and survival. Significant variability was documented in both absolute numbers and relative proportions of CD34+, CD2+, CD3+, CD4high+, CD4+25+, CD8high+, CD19+, CD56+, and CD56+16+ cells contained in these allografts. Stepwise Cox regression analysis revealed that the CD56+ cell dose was significantly inversely correlated with the incidence of GVHD. Thus, there was a significantly higher incidence of grade II acute GVHD in patients receiving a lower CD56+16+ cell dose (hazard ratio (HR) 0.0090; 95% confidence interval (CI), <0.00001-3.38; P=0.031), a higher incidence of chronic GVHD in those receiving allografts with a lower CD56+16+ to CD34+ ratio (HR <0.00001; 95% CI <0.00001-0.0007; P=0.0035), and a higher incidence of extensive chronic GVHD in those receiving allografts with a lower CD5 + to CD34+ ratio (HR <0.00001; 95% CI <0.00001-0.053; P=0.0083). These results suggest that CD56+ cells in G-PBPC allografts from HLA-identical sibling donors may play an important role in preventing the development of GVHD.
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