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Paradoxical effects of IFN-gamma in graft-versus-host disease reflect promotion of lymphohematopoietic graft-versus-host reactions and inhibition of epithelial tissue injury.

ABSTRACT: Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) inhibits graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in lethally irradiated mice receiving allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) but promotes lethality in unirradiated and sublethally irradiated recipients. We investigated the role of IFN-gamma in GVHD in sublethally irradiated B6D2F1 recipients of B6 allo-HCT. B6D2F1 mice receiving wild-type B6 splenocytes alone died rapidly, whereas those receiving wild-type B6 splenocytes plus marrow survived long-term. Mice in both groups showed rapid elimination of host hematopoietic cells but minimal parenchymal tissue injury. However, mice receiving allo-HCT from IFN-gamma-deficient donors died rapidly regardless of whether donor marrow was given, and they exhibited severe parenchymal injury but prolonged survival of host hematopoietic cells. IFN-gamma plays a similar role in another model involving delayed B6 donor leukocyte infusion (DLI) to established mixed allogeneic (B6-->BALB/c) chimeras. IFN-gamma promotes DLI-mediated conversion from mixed to full donor chimerism while attenuating GVHD. Importantly, IFN-gamma enhances graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effects in both models. Our data indicate that previously reported IFN-gamma-induced early mortality in allo-HCT recipients is due to augmentation of lymphohematopoietic graft-versus-host reaction (LGVHR) and can be avoided by providing an adequate source of donor hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Furthermore, the magnitude of GVL is correlated with the strength of LGVHR, and IFN-gamma reduces the potential of this alloreactivity to cause epithelial tissue GVHD.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC2668848 | BioStudies | 2009-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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