Development of a simplified counterflow centrifugation elutriation procedure for depletion of lymphocytes from human bone marrow

S. J. Noga, A. D. Donnenberg, C. L. Schwartz, L. C. Strauss, C. I. Civin, G. W. Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major complication of allogeneic bone marrow (BM) transplantation. Techniques that effectively purge BM of mature T lymphocytes should reduce the incidence of GVHD and improve survival. We have developed a simplified, two-flow rate, fixed rotor speed counterflow centrifugation-elutriation (CCE) procedure that reproducibly depletes 99% of lymphocytes from Ficoll-Hypaque(F/H)-separated BM or BM buffy-coat. Two predetermined flow rates (24 and 28 ml/min) were used to purge small and intermediate-to-large lymphocytes, respectively, whereas faster sedimenting cells were recovered at the termination of the run. Lymphocyte depletion was substantiated by pan-T monoclonal antibody analysis as well as by complete loss of responsiveness to alloantigens and mitogens. Despite the lack of mature T cells, the depleted marrow fraction retained lymphoid colony-forming ability. Lymphocyte-purged marrow was obtained in high yield (72%), and retained high viability (>97%) and hematopoietic colony-forming ability (>99%). The ratio of total myeloid/erythroid colony-forming cells to T lymphocytes was 73-fold higher in the lymphocyte-depleted fraction than in unseparated BM. We concluded that a two-step CCE procedure can be used to rapidly deplete lymphocytes from both F/H-separated and buffy-coat BM inocula without altering hematopoietic capacity as measured by the in vitro clonogenic assays. It may be possible to adapt this procedure to the separation of the large number of marrow cells required for human BM transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-229
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology


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