Reconstitution of adaptive immunity after umbilical cord blood transplantation: impact on infectious complications
In comparison with allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) with other stem cell sources, umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT) was traditionally associated with increased risk of infections, particularly during the first 3 months after transplantation. Longitudinal studies of immune monitoring reported peculiar patterns of T- and B-cell recovery in the peripheral blood of UCB recipients during the first months post-transplantation. Overall, current data suggest delayed reconstitution of naive and memory CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell pools after UCBT. This is particularly true for adult recipients and for patients who received in vivo T-cell depleting approaches before the transplantation. Such delayed T-cell recovery may increase susceptibility of UCB recipients for developing opportunistic infections and viral reactivations. Regarding B-cell recovery, UCBT was associated with accelerated B-lymphopoiesis. Recent studies also reported evidence for faster functional memory B-cell recovery in UCB recipients. In this article, we briefly review T- and B-cell reconstitution after alloHSCT, with emphasis on peculiarities observed after UCBT. We further put these data in lines with risks of infections after UCBT.