Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential Risk Identified In Transfusions Of Platelets Before Bone Marrow Transplant

Date:
August 14, 2009
Source:
Emory University
Summary:
A larger number of platelet transfusions given before a bone marrow transplant to treat bone marrow failure syndromes correlates with a greater risk of transplant rejection. A model system in mice shows that platelet transfusions can increase the risk of later bone marrow transplant rejection, even when donor and recipient are MHC "matched." More research is necessary to determine if the same mechanisms occur in humans. Modification of transfused platelets or matching for "minor antigens" on donated platelets may be potential remedies.

Research on blood transfusions points to a potential risk of transfusing donated platelets, especially to patients with bone marrow failure syndromes who are subsequently candidates for bone marrow transplantation.

The results are online and scheduled for publication in the September 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Doctors have noticed a pattern in performing bone marrow transplants as a cure for diseases involving bone marrow failure: more transfusions before a bone marrow transplant correlates with a higher likelihood of rejection, says James Zimring, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.

However, the cause-and-effect relationship between transfusion and bone marrow transplant rejection is unclear. More transfusions may just be needed to treat more severe disease, and more severe underlying disease may cause increased rates of bone marrow transplant rejection, Zimring says.

"Platelets are mostly given to prevent or to stop acute bleeding or hemorrhage. Clearly, none of us would risk a patient bleeding to avoid possible complications for a subsequent bone marrow transplant. Greater understanding of the biology involved is required to modify our transfusion and/or transplantation procedures so as to circumvent the problem," he says.

Bone marrow failure syndromes can be inherited or acquired as result of infection or exposure to radiation, insecticides or industrial solvents. Bone marrow failure means the bone marrow can't produce new blood cells, leading to anemia, trouble fighting infections and difficulty controlling bleeding.

To probe for the causes of bone marrow transplant rejection after transfusions, Zimring, graduate student Seema Patel and co-workers established a model system in mice. The system was designed to simulate transplants for bone marrow failure syndromes and do not apply to transplants carried out to treat cancer, which destroy more of the immune system beforehand.

They found that platelet transfusions given to mice before a bone marrow transplant drastically increased the likelihood that the transplant will be rejected.

Donor and recipient were "matched" for their MHC (major histocompatibility complex) genes, the most important determinants of transplant compatibility.

Platelets are already processed to remove white blood cells, with the aim of reducing the risk of immune-related problems. In addition, blood banks already test for antibodies against proteins encoded by MHC genes. In humans, MHC genes are known as HLA (human leukocyte antigen).

Zimring says the remaining concern about immune incompatibility comes from other proteins on the platelets themselves, termed "minor antigens." Immune responses to minor antigens are not currently monitored in patients, so the extent to which they occur is unknown.

Ultimately, modification of the transfused platelets or matching for minor antigens on donated platelets may remedy the problem, he says. A careful human clinical study would be required to establish if the same mechanisms occur in humans.

A related paper by Zimring and his colleagues describing the effects of pre-transplant transfusions of red blood cells in mice was recently published in the journal Blood.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Emory University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. M. Desmarets, C.M. Cadwell, K.R. Peterson, R. Neades, and J.C. Zimring. Minor histocompatibility antigens on transfused leukoreduced units of red blood cells induce bone marrow transplant rejection in a mouse model. Blood, 2009; DOI: 10.1182/blood-2009-04-214387
  2. S.R. Patel, C.M. Cadwell, A. Medford and J.C. Zimring. Bone Marrow Transplant Rejection Induced by Platelet Transfusion. J. Clin. Invest., 2009; 119

Cite This Page:

Emory University. "Potential Risk Identified In Transfusions Of Platelets Before Bone Marrow Transplant." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090811143542.htm>.
Emory University. (2009, August 14). Potential Risk Identified In Transfusions Of Platelets Before Bone Marrow Transplant. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090811143542.htm
Emory University. "Potential Risk Identified In Transfusions Of Platelets Before Bone Marrow Transplant." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090811143542.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins