Interleukin-23 secretion by donor antigen-presenting cells is critical for organ-specific pathology in graft-versus-host disease.
ABSTRACT: Damage to the gastrointestinal tract during graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) from the conditioning regimen in conjunction with alloreactive donor T cells plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of this disease. In this study, we have identified secretion of interleukin-23 (IL-23) by donor antigen-presenting cells (APCs) as a critical event in the induction of GVHD of the colon linking conditioning regimen-induced mucosal injury and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) translocation to subsequent proinflammatory cytokine production and GVHD-associated pathologic damage. In the absence of donor APC-derived IL-23 secretion, there is a selective and profound reduction in pathologic damage as well as a marked reduction in LPS and proinflammatory cytokine production in the colon microenvironment. The downstream proinflammatory effects of IL-23 are dependent upon donor-derived secretion of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), but are independent of donor IL-17 production. These findings define a novel organ-specific role for IL-23 in the pathophysiology of GVHD and demonstrate that IL-23 can direct tissue-specific pathology within the context of a systemic inflammatory disorder. Furthermore, these studies also identify IL-23 as a potential therapeutic target for the prevention of this life-threatening disorder.
Project description:Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is a curative immunotherapy where patients receive myeloablative chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, followed by donor stem cell transplantation. Graft versus host disease (GVHD) is a major complication caused by dysregulated donor immune system, thus a novel strategy to modulate donor immunity is needed to mitigate GVHD. Tissue damage by conditioning regimen is thought to initiate the inflammatory milieu that recruits various donor immune cells for cross-priming of donor T cells against alloantigen and eventually promote strong Th1 cytokine storm escalating further tissue damage. Bilirubin nanoparticles (BRNP) are water-soluble conjugated of bilirubin and polyethylene glycol (PEG) with potent anti-inflammatory properties through its ability to scavenge reactive oxygen species generated at the site of inflammation. Here, we evaluated whether BRNP treatment post-transplantation can reduce initial inflammation and subsequently prevent GVHD in a major histocompatibility (MHC) mismatched murine GVHD model. After myeloablative irradiation, BALB/c mice received bone marrow and splenocytes isolated from C57BL/6 mice, with or without BRNP (10 mg/kg) daily on days 0 through 4 post-transplantation, and clinical GVHD and survival was monitored for 90 days. First, BRNP treatment significantly improved clinical GVHD score compared to untreated mice (3.4 vs 0.3, p=0.0003), and this translated into better overall survival (HR 0.0638, p=0.0003). Further, BRNPs showed a preferential accumulation in GVHD target organs leading to a reduced systemic and local inflammation evidenced by lower pathologic GVHD severity as well as circulating inflammatory cytokines such as IFN-γ. Lastly, BRNP treatment post-transplantation facilitated the reconstitution of CD4<sup>+</sup> iNK T cells and reduced expansion of proinflammatory CD8α<sup>+</sup> iNK T cells and neutrophils especially in GVHD organs. Lastly, BRNP treatment decreased ICOS<sup>+</sup> or CTLA-4<sup>+</sup> T cells but not PD-1<sup>+</sup> T cells suggesting a decreased level of T cell activation but maintaining T cell tolerance. In conclusion, we demonstrated that BRNP treatment post-transplantation ameliorates murine GVHD <i>via</i> diminishing the initial tissue damage and subsequent inflammatory responses from immune subsets.
Project description:Little is known about the maintenance of intestinal stem cells (ISCs) and progenitors during immune-mediated tissue damage or about the susceptibility of transplant recipients to tissue damage mediated by the donor immune system during graft versus host disease (GVHD). We demonstrate here that deficiency of recipient-derived IL-22 increased acute GVHD tissue damage and mortality, that ISCs were eliminated during GVHD, and that ISCs as well as their downstream progenitors expressed the IL-22 receptor. Intestinal IL-22 was produced after bone marrow transplant by IL-23-responsive innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) from the transplant recipients, and intestinal IL-22 increased in response to pretransplant conditioning. However, ILC frequency and IL-22 amounts were decreased by GVHD. Recipient IL-22 deficiency led to increased crypt apoptosis, depletion of ISCs, and loss of epithelial integrity. Our findings reveal IL-22 as a critical regulator of tissue sensitivity to GVHD and a protective factor for ISCs during inflammatory intestinal damage.
Project description:Introduction:Conditioning regimens preceding allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) can cause tissue damage and acceleration of the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). T-cell-depleted alloSCT with postponed donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) may reduce GVHD, because tissue injury can be restored at the time of DLI. In this study, we investigated the presence of tissue injury and inflammation in skin during the period of hematologic recovery and immune reconstitution after alloSCT. Methods:Skin biopsies were immunohistochemically stained for HLA class II, CD1a, CD11c, CD40, CD54, CD68, CD86, CD206, CD3, and CD8. HLA class II-expressing cells were characterized as activated T-cells, antigen-presenting cells (APCs), or tissue repairing macrophages. In sex-mismatched patient and donor couples, origin of cells was determined by multiplex analysis combining XY-FISH and fluorescent immunohistochemistry. Results:No inflammatory environment due to pretransplant conditioning was detected at the time of alloSCT, irrespective of the conditioning regimen. An increase in HLA class II-positive macrophages and CD3 T-cells was observed 12-24?weeks after myeloablative alloSCT, but these macrophages did not show signs of interaction with the co-localized T-cells. In contrast, during GVHD, an increase in HLA class II-expressing cells coinciding with T-cell interaction was observed, resulting in an overt inflammatory reaction with the presence of activated APC, activated donor T-cells, and localized upregulation of HLA class II expression on epidermal cells. In the absence of GVHD, patient derived macrophages were gradually replaced by donor-derived macrophages although patient-derived macrophages were detectable even 24?weeks after alloSCT. Conclusion:Conditioning regimens cause tissue damage in the skin, but this does not result in a local increase of activated APC. In contrast to the inflamed situation in GVHD, when interaction takes place between activated APC and donor T-cells, the tissue damage caused by myeloablative alloSCT results in dermal recruitment of HLA class II-positive tissue repairing macrophages co-existing with increased numbers of patient- and donor-derived T-cells, but without signs of specific interaction and initiation of an immune response. Thus, the local skin damage caused by the conditioning regimen appears to be insufficient as single factor to provoke GVHD induction.
Project description:The therapeutic efficacy of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is limited by the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In GVHD, rigorous pre-conditioning regimen resets the immune landscape and inflammatory milieu causing immune dysregulation, characterized by an expansion of alloreactive cells and a reduction in immune regulatory cells. In acute GVHD (aGVHD), the release of damage- and pathogen- associated molecular patterns from damaged tissue caused by the conditioning regimen sets the stage for T cell priming, activation and expansion further exacerbating tissue injury and organ damage, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have shown that donor T cells utilize multiple energetic and biosynthetic pathways to mediate GVHD that can be distinct from the pathways used by regulatory T cells for their suppressive function. In chronic GVHD (cGVHD), donor T cells may differentiate into IL-21 producing T follicular helper cells or tissue resident T helper cells that cooperate with germinal center B cells or memory B cells, respectively, to produce allo- and auto-reactive antibodies with subsequent tissue fibrosis. Alternatively, donor T cells can become IFN- γ/IL-17 cytokine expressing T cells that mediate sclerodermatous skin injury. Patients refractory to the first line standard regimens for GVHD treatment have a poor prognosis indicating an urgent need for new therapies to restore the balance between effector and regulatory immune cells while preserving the beneficial graft-versus-tumor effect. Emerging data points toward a role for metabolism in regulating these allo- and auto-immune responses. Here, we will discuss the preclinical and clinical data available on the distinct metabolic demands of acute and chronic GVHD and recent efforts in identifying therapeutic targets using metabolomics. Another dimension of this review will examine the changing microbiome after allo-HSCT and the role of microbial metabolites such as short chain fatty acids and long chain fatty acids on regulating immune responses. Lastly, we will examine the metabolic implications of coinhibitory pathway blockade and cellular therapies in allo-HSCT. In conclusion, greater understanding of metabolic pathways involved in immune cell dysregulation during allo-HSCT may pave the way to provide novel therapies to prevent and treat GVHD.
Project description:Th17 is a newly identified T-cell lineage that secretes proinflammatory cytokine IL-17. Th17 cells have been shown to play a critical role in mediating autoimmune diseases such as EAE, colitis, and arthritis, but their role in the pathogenesis of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is still unknown. Here we showed that, in an acute GVHD model of C57BL/6 (H-2(b)) donor to BALB/c (H-2(d)) recipient, IL-17(-/-) donor T cells manifested an augmented Th1 differentiation and IFN-gamma production and induced exacerbated acute GVHD. Severe tissue damage mediated by IL-17(-/-) donor T cells was associated with increased Th1 infiltration, up-regulation of chemokine receptors by donor T cells, and enhanced tissue expression of inflammatory chemokines. Administration of recombinant IL-17 and neutralizing IFN-gamma in the recipients given IL-17(-/-) donor cells ameliorated the acute GVHD. Furthermore, the regulation of Th1 differentiation by IL-17 or Th17 may be through its influence on host DCs. Our results indicate that donor Th17 cells can down-regulate Th1 differentiation and ameliorate acute GVHD in allogeneic recipients, and that treatments neutralizing proinflammatory cytokine IL-17 may augment acute GVHD as well as other inflammatory autoimmune diseases.
Project description:Although CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells (T regulatory cells [Tregs]) and natural killer T cells (NKT cells) each protect against graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), interactions between these 2 regulatory cell populations after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) have not been studied. We show that host NKT cells can induce an in vivo expansion of donor Tregs that prevents lethal GVHD in mice after conditioning with fractionated lymphoid irradiation (TLI) and anti-T-cell antibodies, a regimen that models human GVHD-protective nonmyeloablative protocols using TLI and antithymocyte globulin (ATG), followed by allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). GVHD protection was lost in NKT-cell-deficient Jalpha18(-/-) hosts and interleukin-4 (IL-4)(-/-) hosts, or when the donor transplant was Treg depleted. Add-back of donor Tregs or wild-type host NKT cells restored GVHD protection. Donor Treg proliferation was lost in IL-4(-/-) hosts or when IL-4(-/-) mice were used as the source of NKT cells for adoptive transfer, indicating that host NKT cell augmentation of donor Treg proliferation after TLI/antithymocyte serum is IL-4 dependent. Our results demonstrate that host NKT cells and donor Tregs can act synergistically after BMT, and provide a mechanism by which strategies designed to preserve host regulatory cells can augment in vivo donor Treg expansion to regulate GVHD after allogeneic HCT.
Project description:Most patients who could be cured of sickle cell disease (SCD) with stem cell transplantation do not have a matched sibling donor. Successful use of alternative donors, including mismatched family members, could provide a donor for almost all patients with SCD. The use of a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen may decrease late adverse effects. Ten patients with symptomatic SCD underwent CD34+ cell-selected, T-cell-depleted peripheral blood stem cell transplantation from a mismatched family member or unrelated donor. A reduced-intensity conditioning regimen including melphalan, thiotepa, fludarabine, and rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin was used. Patients were screened for a companion study for immune reconstitution that included a donor lymphocyte infusion given 30-42 days after transplant with intravenous methotrexate as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis. Seven eligible patients were treated on the companion study. Nine of 10 patients are alive with a median follow-up of 49 months (range, 14-60 months). Surviving patients have stable donor hematopoietic engraftment (mean donor chimerism, 99.1% ± 0.7%). There were no sickle cell complications after transplant. Two patients had grade II-IV acute GVHD. One patient had chronic GVHD. Epstein-Barr virus-related posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) occurred in 3 patients, and 1 patient died as a consequence of treatment of PTLD. Two-year overall survival was 90%, and event-free survival was 80%. A reduced-intensity conditioning regimen followed by CD34+ cell-selected, T-cell-depleted alternative donor peripheral blood stem cell transplantation achieved primary engraftment in all patients with a low incidence of GVHD, although PTLD was problematic. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00968864.
Project description:Gastrointestinal (GI) tract involvement is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and pathological damage is largely attributable to inflammatory cytokine production. Recently, granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) has been identified as a cytokine that mediates inflammation in the GI tract, but the transcriptional program that governs GM-CSF production and the mechanism by which GM-CSF links adaptive to innate immunity within this tissue site have not been defined. In the current study, we identified Bhlhe40 as a key transcriptional regulator that governs GM-CSF production by CD4+ T cells and mediates pathological damage in the GI tract during GVHD. In addition, we observed that GM-CSF was not regulated by either interleukin 6 (IL-6) or IL-23, which are both potent inducers of GVHD-induced colonic pathology, indicating that GM-CSF constitutes a nonredundant inflammatory pathway in the GI tract. Mechanistically, GM-CSF had no adverse effect on regulatory T-cell reconstitution, but linked adaptive to innate immunity by enhancing the activation of donor-derived dendritic cells in the colon and subsequent accumulation of these cells in the mLNs. In addition, GM-CSF promoted indirect alloantigen presentation, resulting in the accumulation of donor-derived T cells with a proinflammatory cytokine phenotype in the colon. Thus, Bhlhe40+ GM-CSF+ CD4+ T cells constitute a colitogenic T-cell population that promotes indirect alloantigen presentation and pathological damage within the GI tract, positioning GM-CSF as a key regulator of GVHD in the colon and a potential therapeutic target for amelioration of this disease.
Project description:Acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is a major complication that prevents successful outcomes after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT), an effective therapy for hematological malignancies. Several studies demonstrate that donor T cells and host antigen-presenting cells along with several proinflammatory cytokines are required for the induction of GvHD and contribute to its severity. Increasing evidence demonstrates that human serum-derived ?alpha-1- anti-trypsin (AAT) reduces production of proinflammatory cytokines, induces anti-inflammatory cytokines, and interferes with maturation of dendritic cells. Using well-characterized mouse models of BMT, we have studied the effects of AAT on GvHD severity. Administration of AAT early after BMT decreased mortality in three models of GvHD and reduced serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the allogeneic recipients compared with vehicle (albumin) treated animals. AAT treatment reduced the expansion of alloreactive T effector cells but enhanced the recovery of T regulatory T cells, (Tregs) thus altering the ratio of donor T effector to T regulatory cells in favor of reducing the pathological process. However, despite altering the ratio in vivo, AAT had no direct effects on either the donor T effector cells or T regulatory cells Tregs in vitro. In contrast, AAT suppressed LPS-induced in vitro secretion of proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-? and IL-1?, enhanced the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, and impaired NF-?B translocation in the host dendritic cells. In light of its long history of safety in humans, these findings suggest that administration of AAT represents a novel unique and viable strategy to mitigate clinical GvHD.
Project description:Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Donor T cells are key mediators in pathogenesis, but a contribution from host T cells has not been explored, as conditioning regimens are believed to deplete host T cells. To evaluate a potential role for host T cells in GVHD, the origin of skin and blood T cells was assessed prospectively in patients after HSCT in the absence of GVHD. While blood contained primarily donor-derived T cells, most T cells in the skin were host derived. We next examined patient skin, colon, and blood during acute GVHD. Host T cells were present in all skin and colon acute GVHD specimens studied, yet were largely absent in blood. We observed acute skin GVHD in the presence of 100% host T cells. Analysis demonstrated that a subset of host T cells in peripheral tissues were proliferating (Ki67+) and producing the proinflammatory cytokines IFN-? and IL-17 in situ. Comparatively, the majority of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in tissue in acute GVHD were donor derived, and donor-derived APCs were observed directly adjacent to host T cells. A humanized mouse model demonstrated that host skin-resident T cells could be activated by donor monocytes to generate a GVHD-like dermatitis. Thus, host tissue-resident T cells may play a previously unappreciated pathogenic role in acute GVHD.