Immune ablation and stem-cell therapy in autoimmune disease: Immunological reconstitution after high-dose immunosuppression and haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation
Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
Arthritis Res 2000, 2:270-275 doi:10.1186/ar101Published: 26 May 2000
Studies on immunological reconstitution after immune ablation and stem-cell therapy may yield important clues to our understanding of the pathogenesis of human autoimmune disease, due to the profound effects of function and organization of the immune system. Such studies are also indispensable when linking clinical sequelae such as opportunistic infections to the state of immune deficiency that ensues after the treatment. Much has been learnt on these issues from comparable studies in haemato-oncological diseases, although it remains to be proven that the data obtained from these studies can be extrapolated to rheumatological autoimmune diseases. Preliminary results from pilot studies in various rheumatological conditions not only pointed to clinical efficacy of the new treatment modality but also unveiled marked effects on T-cell receptor repertoires of circulating T lymphocytes, on titres of autoantibodies and T- and B-cell subsets.