Origin of marrow stromal cells and haemopoietic chimaerism following bone marrow transplantation determined by in situ hybridisation.
Athanasou NA., Quinn J., Brenner MK., Prentice HG., Graham A., Taylor S., Flannery D., McGee JO.
The origin and cell lineage of stromal cells in the bone marrow is uncertain. Whether a common stem cell exists for both haemopoietic and stromal cells or whether these cell lines arise from distinct stem cells is unknown. Using in situ hybridisation for detection of the Y chromosome, we have examined histological sections of bone marrow from seven patients who received marrow transplants from HLA-matched donors of the opposite sex. Stromal cells (adipocytes, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, osteoblasts and osteocytes) were identified in these recipients as being of host origin. This result is consistent with the concept of a distinct origin and separate cell lineage for cells of the haemopoietic and stromal systems. It also shows that engraftment of marrow stromal cell precursors does not occur and that host stromal cells survive conditioning regimens for marrow transplantation. With the exception of one case, with a markedly hypocellular marrow, mixed chimaerism was seen in haemopoietic cells, indicating that this is not a rare event after marrow transplantation.