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.
Project description:In spite of considerable therapeutic progress, acute graft-versus-host disease still limits allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. We recently reported that mouse infection with nidovirus lactate dehydrogenase elevating virus impairs disease in non-conditioned B6D2F1 recipients of parental B6 spleen cells. As this virus activates TLR7, we tested a pharmacological TLR7 ligand, R848, in this model and observed complete survival if donor and recipients were treated before transplantation. Mixed lymphocyte culture performed 48 h after R848-treatment of normal mice demonstrated that both T-cell allo-responsiveness and antigen presentation by CD11b+ and CD8α+ dendritic cells were inhibited. These inhibitions were dependent on IFNAR-1 signaling. In the B6 to B6D2F1 transplantation model, R848 decelerated, but did not abrogate, donor T-cell implantation and activation. However, it decreased interferon-gamma, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-27 while upregulating active transforming growth factor-beta 1 plasma levels. In addition, donor and recipient Foxp3+ regulatory T-cell numbers were increased in recipient mice and their elimination compromised disease prevention. R848 also strongly improved survival of lethally irradiated BALB/c recipients of B6 hematopoietic cells and this also correlated with an upregulation of CD4 and CD8 Foxp3+ regulatory T cells that could be further increased by inhibition of interleukin-27. The combination of anti-interleukin-27p28 mono -clonal antibody and R848 showed strong synergy in preventing disease in the B6 to B6D2F1 transplantation model when recipients were sublethally irradiated and this also correlated with upregulation of regulatory T cells. We conclude that R848 modulates multiple aspects of graft-versus-host disease and offers potential for safe allogeneic bone marrow transplantation that can be further optimized by inhibition of interleukin-27.
Project description:Oxidative stress is elevated in the recipients of allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation (allo-HCT) and likely contributes to the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). GVHD is characterized by activation, expansion, cytokine production and migration of alloreactive donor T cells, and remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality after allo-HCT. Hence, strategies to limit oxidative stress in GVHD are highly desirable. Thioredoxin1 (Trx1) counteracts oxidative stress by scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and regulating other enzymes that metabolize H2O2. The present study sought to elucidate the role of Trx1 in the pathophysiology of GVHD. Using murine and xenograft models of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT) and genetic (human Trx1-transgenic, Trx1-Tg) as well as pharmacologic (human recombinant Trx1, RTrx1) strategies; we found that Trx1-Tg donor T cells or administration of the recipients with RTrx1 significantly reduced GVHD severity. Mechanistically, we observed RTrx1 reduced ROS accumulation and cytokine production of mouse and human T cells in response to alloantigen stimulation in vitro. In allo-BMT settings, we found that Trx1-Tg or RTrx1 decreased downstream signaling molecules including NFκB activation and T-bet expression, and reduced proliferation, IFN-γ production and ROS accumulation in donor T cells within GVHD target organs. More importantly, administration of RTrx1 did not impair the graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect. Taken together, the current work provides a strong rationale and demonstrates feasibility to target the ROS pathway, which can be readily translated into clinic.
Project description:The ability of IFN-? to enhance graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) activity without direct interaction with leukemia cells was examined by comparing GVL effects against IFN-? receptor-deficient (GRKO) leukemia between wild-type (WT) and IFN-?-deficient (GKO) allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). We established a primary IFN-?-unresponsive T-cell leukemia model using virally-transduced GRKO B6 mouse bone marrow cells overexpressing Notch1. We first assessed GVL effects in lethally-irradiated B6 mice receiving CD4-depleted allo-HCT from WT or GKO BALB/c donors. Administration of CD4(+) cell-depleted allo-HCT from WT, but not GKO, BALB/c donors mediated significant GVL effects against GRKO leukemia. Similar results were obtained in pre-established allogeneic chimeras receiving delayed donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI). Although both WT and GKO DLI achieved significant anti-tumor responses, the former was markedly stronger than the latter. These data indicate that IFN-? is capable of promoting GVL effects via mechanisms independent of its interaction with leukemia cells.
Project description:Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is a potentially curative treatment for hematologic and immunologic diseases. However, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) may develop when donor-derived T cells recognize and damage genetically distinct normal host tissues. In addition to TCR signaling, costimulatory pathways are involved in T cell activation. CD27 is a TNFR family member expressed on T cells, and its ligand, CD70, is expressed on APCs. The CD27/CD70 costimulatory pathway was shown to be critical for T cell function and survival in viral infection models. However, the role of this pathway in allo-HCT is previously unknown. In this study, we have examined its contribution in GVHD pathogenesis. Surprisingly, Ab blockade of CD70 after allo-HCT significantly increases GVHD. Interestingly, whereas donor T cell- or bone marrow-derived CD70 plays no role in GVHD, host-derived CD70 inhibits GVHD as CD70-/- hosts show significantly increased GVHD. This is evidenced by reduced survival, more severe weight loss, and increased histopathologic damage compared with wild-type hosts. In addition, CD70-/- hosts have higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines TNF-?, IFN-?, IL-2, and IL-17. Moreover, accumulation of donor CD4+ and CD8+ effector T cells is increased in CD70-/- versus wild-type hosts. Mechanistic analyses suggest that CD70 expressed by host hematopoietic cells is involved in the control of alloreactive T cell apoptosis and expansion. Together, our findings demonstrate that host CD70 serves as a unique negative regulator of allogeneic T cell response by contributing to donor T cell apoptosis and inhibiting expansion of donor effector T cells.
Project description:The expression of checkpoint blockade molecules PD-1, PD-L1, CTLA-4, and foxp3+CD25+CD4+ T cells (Tregs) regulate donor T cell activation and graft-vs-host disease (GvHD) in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-HSCT). Detailed kinetics of PD-1-, CTLA-4-, and PD-L1 expression on donor and host cells in GvHD target organs have not been well studied. Using an established GvHD model of allo-HSCT (B6 ? CB6F1), we noted transient increases of PD-1- and CTLA-4-expressing donor CD4+ and CD8+ T cells on day 10 post transplant in spleens of allo-HSCT recipients compared with syngeneic HSCT (syn-HSCT) recipients. In contrast, expression of PD-1- and CTLA-4 on donor T cells was persistently increased in bone marrow (BM) of allo-HSCT recipients compared with syn-HSCT recipients. Similar differential patterns of donor T cell immune response were observed in a minor histocompatibility (miHA) mismatched transplant model of GvHD. Despite higher PD-1 and CTLA-4 expression in BM, numbers of foxp3+ T cells and Tregs were much lower in allo-HSCT recipients compared with syn-HSCT recipients. PD-L1-expressing host cells were markedly decreased concomitant with elimination of residual host hematopoietic elements in spleens of allo-HSCT recipients. Allo-HSCT recipients lacking PD-L1 rapidly developed increased serum inflammatory cytokines and lethal acute GvHD compared with wild-type (WT) B6 allo-HSCT recipients. These data suggest that increased expression of checkpoint blockade molecules PD-1 and CTLA-4 on donor T cells is not sufficient to prevent GvHD, and that cooperation between checkpoint blockade signaling by host cells and donor Tregs is necessary to limit GvHD in allo-HSCT recipients.
Project description:Donor CD4(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (T reg cells) suppress graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT [allo-HCT]). Current clinical study protocols rely on the ex vivo expansion of donor T reg cells and their infusion in high numbers. In this study, we present a novel strategy for inhibiting GvHD that is based on the in vivo expansion of recipient T reg cells before allo-HCT, exploiting the crucial role of tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2) in T reg cell biology. Expanding radiation-resistant host T reg cells in recipient mice using a mouse TNFR2-selective agonist before allo-HCT significantly prolonged survival and reduced GvHD severity in a TNFR2- and T reg cell-dependent manner. The beneficial effects of transplanted T cells against leukemia cells and infectious pathogens remained unaffected. A corresponding human TNFR2-specific agonist expanded human T reg cells in vitro. These observations indicate the potential of our strategy to protect allo-HCT patients from acute GvHD by expanding T reg cells via selective TNFR2 activation in vivo.
Project description:Acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is a serious complication of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) that results from donor allogeneic T cell attack on host tissues. Based on previous work implicating immune cell-derived C3a and C5a as regulators of T cell immunity, we examined the effects of locally produced C3a and C5a on murine T cell-mediated GvHD. We found that total body irradiation, a conditioning regimen required to permit engraftment of allo-HCT, caused upregulation and activation of alternative pathway complement components by recipient APCs. Allo-HCT with decay accelerating factor-null (Daf1(-/-)) host BM and Daf1(-/-) donor lymphocytes led to exacerbated GvHD outcome and resulted in splenic and organ-infiltrating T cell expansion. T cells deficient in C3a receptor (C3aR) and/or C5a receptor (C5aR) responded weakly in allogeneic hosts and exhibited limited ability to induce GvHD. Using a clinically relevant treatment strategy, we showed that pharmacological C5aR blockade reduced GvHD morbidity. Our data mechanistically link APC-derived complement to T cell-mediated GvHD and support complement inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for GvHD in humans.
Project description:Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) signal transduction is a critical mediator of the immune response. JAK2 is implicated in the onset of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which is a significant cause of transplant-related mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). Transfer of JAK2-/- donor T cells to allogeneic recipients leads to attenuated GVHD yet maintains graft-versus-leukemia. Th1 differentiation among JAK2-/- T cells is significantly decreased compared with wild-type controls. Conversely, iTreg and Th2 polarization is significantly increased among JAK2-/- T cells. Pacritinib is a multikinase inhibitor with potent activity against JAK2. Pacritinib significantly reduces GVHD and xenogeneic skin graft rejection in distinct rodent models and maintains donor antitumor immunity. Moreover, pacritinib spares iTregs and polarizes Th2 responses as observed among JAK2-/- T cells. Collectively, these data clearly identify JAK2 as a therapeutic target to control donor alloreactivity and promote iTreg responses after allo-HCT or solid organ transplantation. As such, a phase I/II acute GVHD prevention trial combining pacritinib with standard immune suppression after allo-HCT is actively being investigated (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02891603).
Project description:Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains the most common treatment-related complication after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). Lymphocyte migration plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of GVHD. A previous phase I/II trial demonstrated that CCR5 blockade with maraviroc in the first 30days after allo-HCT resulted in a low incidence of early acute GVHD, primarily in visceral organs, but with no impact on late acute or chronic GVHD. We conducted a phase II trial to examine the efficacy of an extended course of maraviroc, administered through post-transplantation day +90 in addition to standard prophylaxis in 37 recipients of reduced-intensity-conditioned unrelated donor allo-HCT performed to treat hematologic malignancies. Extended maraviroc treatment was safe and feasible. The primary study endpoint, day +180 rate of grade II-IV acute GVHD, was 22 ± 7%, liver GVHD was not observed, and gut GVHD was uncommon. The day +180 rate of grade III-IV acute GVHD was 5 ± 4%. The 1-year rate of moderate to severe chronic GVHD was 8 ± 5% and that of disease relapse was 30 ± 8%. Overall survival at 1 year was 70 ± 8%. Compared with the previously studied short course of maraviroc, the extended course resulted in a significantly higher GVHD-free, relapse-free survival (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], .45; 95% confidence interval [CI], .25 to .82; P?=?.009) and overall survival (adjusted HR, .48; 95% CI, .24 to .96; P?=?.037). A combined analysis of both trials showed that high maraviroc trough concentrations on the day of hematopoietic cell infusion were associated with lower rates of acute GVHD. An extended course of maraviroc after reduced-intensity-conditioned unrelated donor allo-HCT is safe and effective in preventing acute and chronic GVHD and is associated with favorable survival.
Project description:Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is an effective immunotherapeutic approach for various hematologic and immunologic ailments. Despite the beneficial impact of allo-HCT, its adverse effects cause severe health concerns. After transplantation, recognition of host cells as foreign entities by donor T cells induces graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD). Activation, proliferation and trafficking of donor T cells to target organs and tissues are critical steps in the pathogenesis of GVHD. T cell activation is a synergistic process of T cell receptor (TCR) recognition of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-anchored antigen and co-stimulatory/co-inhibitory signaling in the presence of cytokines. Most of the currently used therapeutic regimens for GVHD are based on inhibiting the allogeneic T cell response or T-cell depletion (TCD). However, the immunosuppressive drugs and TCD hamper the therapeutic potential of allo-HCT, resulting in attenuated graft-vs.-leukemia (GVL) effect as well as increased vulnerability to infection. In view of the drawback of overbroad immunosuppression, co-stimulatory, and co-inhibitory molecules are plausible targets for selective modulation of T cell activation and function that can improve the effectiveness of allo-HCT. Therefore, this review collates existing knowledge of T cell co-stimulation and co-inhibition with current research that may have the potential to provide novel approaches to cure GVHD without sacrificing the beneficial effects of allo-HCT.