Can a female patient get transplanted with bone marrow of a male donor and vice versa?

  • $\begingroup$ Well, I guess it's possible because graft rejection/acceptance is based on MHC/hla which are not dependent on sex. $\endgroup$ – biogirl Mar 3 '16 at 12:59

Short answer: Yes. Because in almost all cases of organ transplant, the organ recipient will be administered immunosuppressive drugs.

There is some literature on the effect of sex on the outcomes. I have included two hints here.

from: http://www.nature.com/bmt/journal/v35/n6/full/1704861a.html

The impact of the donor gender on outcome in HLA-identical sibling donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma was studied in a retrospective registry study of 1312 patients (476 male to male (M → M); 334 female to male (F → M); 258 male to female (M → F); 244 female to female (F → F) reported to the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT). The best overall survival (OS) from the time of transplantation was found in F → F (median 41 months) with no significant difference between other groups (median 25 months in M → M, 18 months in F → M, 19 months in M → F) despite a significantly higher nonrelapse mortality in F → M. This was due to a significantly lower relapse rate (REL) in F → M compared to all other groups. Before 1994, OS was poorer in F → M than in M → M, which improved to similarity from 1994 onwards (median 29 months in M → M and 25 months in F → M). The reduced REL contributed to this improvement in F → M indicting a sex-specific graft vs myeloma effect. Therefore, a female donor is as good as a male one for male patients, while for female patients gender disparity is a negative factor for outcome.

from: https://www.broadinstitute.org/news/1386

"It's been clear for some time that bone marrow transplants involving a female donor and a male patient pose a higher risk of GVHD," said Bradner. "This ‘sex mismatch' arises from genes that are carried on the male-specific Y chromosome and are therefore present in males but not in females..."


Anyone can be a donor ir recipient in hla markers are same or a close match. A female donor over 45 who has had 2 or more kids is the worst donor choice. This is because when a woman is pregnant the blood cells get good at attacking foreign blood from the baby. When the blood is given to the recipient there will be higher likelihood of gvh bc the blood will attack the host. By bone marrow, it’s really stem cells, baby blood cells. Once transplanted they replicate and are the new blood and immune system. My donor was my brother. 15+ years ago.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your contribution. It could be improved by adding a reference to a source for the donor pregnancy-history effect. $\endgroup$ – mgkrebbs Feb 24 '18 at 20:33

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