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Bone Marrow With Heart And Lung Transplants Reduces Rejection Of Transplanted Organs, Reports University Of Pittsburgh

ece of a large research effort at UPMC. To date, more than 229 recipients of hearts, lungs, liver, kidney, pancreas, pancreatic islet cells and intestines have received bone marrow.

Chimerism became a major focus of study when in 1992, Thomas E. Starzl, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery at UPMC, brought to Pittsburgh 25 long-surviving recipients of kidney and liver transplants. Biopsies taken from the transplanted organs, lymph nodes, skin and other tissues revealed that donor leukocytes, or white blood cells, had migrated from the transplanted organs to recipient tissues, where they persisted years--in one case, for 29 years--after transplantation. Researchers also found recipient cells continuing to coexist with donor cells within transplanted organs. Such an observation provided confirmation that in organ transplantation, surgeons are not only replacing organ function but they are also exposing the recipient to the donor's immune system.


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Contact: Lisa Rossi
rossiL@msx.upmc.edu
412-624-2607
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
24-Apr-1999


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