Research Article| Volume 9, ISSUE 3, P303-308, 1988

The fate of cells of the immune system during blood storage and after transfusion

  • Neil Blumberg
    From the Blood Bank and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue—Box 608, Rochester, NY 14642, U.S.A.
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      Little is known concerning the biochemical and physiological changes that take place in lymphocytes and monocytes in various blood components stored under blood bank conditions. Several studies have suggested that these cells become nonviable after some days of storage, and that surface markers for various lymphocyte subsets may vary over time and with different conditions of storage. The best documented consequences of transfusion of such cells is graft versus host disease in the immunologically immature or dysfunctional recipient, and prolonged survival of renal allografts in previously transfused recipients. Recipient immunomodulation in other settings may be mediated by these cells, or their remnants, which are almost invariably transfused along with red blood cells, platelets or plasma factors. Some proposed consequences of homologous blood transfusions which may be related to transfusion of cells of the immune system include decreased host resistance to solid tumor recurrence, bacterial infection and HIV-1 infection.
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