Allotransplantation of Cultured Parathyroid Progenitor Cells Without Immunosuppression: Clinical Results

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Background.Hypoparathyroidism is a well-known consequence of extensive thyroid and parathyroid surgery. Allotransplantation of cultured parathyroid cells can be considered as an alternative to vitamin D3 and calcium supplementation in treatment of hypoparathyroidism. We present the long-term allotransplant activity in 85 patients who had undergone cellular allotransplantation for surgical hypoparathyroidism. Also, a modified technique to prepare parathyroid explants is described for obtaining a new nonimmunogenic cell population.Methods.From March 1990 to December 2004, 85 patients underwent 116 allotransplantations of cultured parathyroid cells. Mean recipient age was 46.2±11.1 years. Donors were selected from patients undergoing parathyroidectomy for secondary and tertiary hyperparathyroidism.Results.After 6 weeks of cultivation and freezing, the parathyroid cells decreased their normal human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I ABC expression and were free of HLA class II positive cells. The viability of cultured cells was 95.15±2.94%. Eighty-five patients underwent primary allotransplantation. Of these, 25 patients subsequently underwent a repeat procedure. In six cases, the parathyroid cells were obtained from the same donor and in 19 cases from a different donor. For all patients, the mean cellular allograft survival was 6.35±13.08 months. In 64 patients (55.1%), the allografts retained their endocrine function for more than 2 months.Conclusions.The present study has shown that in some patients parathyroid cell allotransplantation may be considered a method of treatment for permanent hypoparathyroidism after thyroid surgery. Graft function and/or survival did not depend on the baseline viability or secretory activity of cultured cells used for transplantation.

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