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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 9025835, 11 pages
Review Article

NK Cell and CD4+FoxP3+ Regulatory T Cell Based Therapies for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Engraftment

1Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
2Hematology and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Perugia, 06132 Perugia, Italy

Received 9 August 2015; Accepted 22 October 2015

Academic Editor: Dominik Wolf

Copyright © 2016 Antonio Pierini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a powerful therapy to treat multiple hematological diseases. The intensive conditioning regimens used to allow for donor hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) engraftment are often associated with severe toxicity, delayed immune reconstitution, life-threatening infections, and thus higher relapse rates. Additionally, due to the high incidence of graft versus host disease (GvHD), HCT protocols have evolved to prevent such disease that has a detrimental impact on antitumor and antiviral responses. Here, we analyzed the role of host T and natural killer (NK) cells in the rejection of donor HSC engraftment as well as the impact of donor regulatory T cells (Treg) and NK cells on HSC engraftment. We review some of the current strategies that utilize NK or Treg to improve allogeneic HCT therapy in order to accomplish better HSC engraftment and immune reconstitution and achieve a lower incidence of cancer relapse, opportunistic infections, and GvHD.