Alpha-1-antitrypsin monotherapy reduces graft-versus-host disease after experimental allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and leukemic relapse are the two major obstacles to successful outcomes after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT), an effective therapy for hematological malignancies. Several studies have demonstrated that the dysregulation of proinflammatory cytokines and the loss of gastrointestinal tract integrity contribute to GVHD, whereas the donor cytotoxic responses are critical for graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) preservation. Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) is currently in clinical trials as an antitumor agent; it inhibits the activity of histone deacetylases and at low doses exhibits antiinflammatory effects by reducing the production of proinflammatory cytokines. Using two well characterized mouse models of BMT, we have studied the effects of SAHA on GVHD severity and GVL activity. Administration of SAHA from day +3 to day +7 after BMT reduced serum levels of the proinflammatory cytokines and decreased intestinal histopathology, clinical severity, and mortality from acute GVHD compared with vehicle-treated animals. However, SAHA had no effect on donor T cell proliferative and cytotoxic responses to host antigens in vivo or in vitro. When mice received lethal doses of tumor cells at the time of BMT, administration of SAHA did not impair GVL activity and resulted in significantly improved leukemia-free survival by using two different tumor and donor/recipient combinations. These findings reveal a critical role for histone deacetylase inhibition in the proinflammatory events contributing to GVHD and suggest that this class of pharmacologic agents may provide a strategy to reduce GVHD while preserving cytotoxic T cell responses to host antigens and maintaining beneficial GVL effects.
Project description:Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) are a new class of compounds that induce acetylation of histone lysine tails in chromatin and modify gene expression. The Food & Drug Administration approved HDACi, Vorinostat, or suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), has been shown to inhibit tumor cell growth and the production of proinflammatory cytokines. In preclinical allogeneic transplant models, SAHA induces graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) amelioration in treated mice without impairing graft-versus-leukemia. LBH589 (Panobinostat), a structurally novel cinnamic hydroxamic acid class, is an HDACi more potent than SAHA. In the current work, we tested the hypothesis that LBH589 would be highly effective in the prevention of GVHD. Using mouse model of allogeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT), we unexpectedly found that treatment with LBH589 accelerated GVHD, in contrast to the treatment with SAHA that alleviated GVHD. Accelerated GVHD in the recipients treated with LBH589 was associated with elevated Th1 cytokines in recipient serum, enhanced CXCR3 expression on donor T cells, and T cell infiltration in the liver. The current study highlights the distinct effects of pan HDACi on allogeneic BMT and alerts that LBH589 (Panobinostat) could have an adverse effect on GVHD, and possibly on other inflammatory diseases.
Project description:The relationship between regulatory T cells (Tregs) and acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) in clinical allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) recipients is not well established. We conducted a prospective analysis of peripheral blood Tregs as determined by the frequency of CD4(+)CD25(hi)FOXP3(+) lymphocytes in 215 BMT patients. Autologous BMT patients (N = 90) and allogeneic BMT patients without GVHD (N = 65) had similar Treg frequencies, whereas allogeneic patients with GVHD (N = 60) had Treg frequencies that were 40% less than those without GVHD. Treg frequencies decreased linearly with increasing grades of GVHD at onset, and correlated with eventual maximum grade of GVHD (P < .001). In addition, frequency of Tregs at onset of GVHD predicted the response to GVHD treatment (P = .003). Patients with Treg frequencies less than the median had higher nonrelapse mortality (NRM) than patients with Tregs greater than the median, but experienced equivalent relapse mortality, resulting in an inferior survival at 2 years (38% versus 63%, P = .03). Treg frequency may therefore have important prognostic value as a biomarker of aGVHD.
Project description:Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is a widely spread treatment of many hematological diseases, but its most important side effect is graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Despite the development of new therapies, acute GVHD (aGVHD) occurs in 30% to 50% of allogeneic BMT and is characterized by the generation of effector T (Teff) cells with production of inflammatory cytokines. We previously demonstrated that a short anti-CD45RC monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment in a heart allograft rat model transiently decreased CD45RChigh Teff cells and increased regulatory T cell (Treg) number and function allowing long-term donor-specific tolerance. Here, we demonstrated in rat and mouse allogeneic GVHD, as well as in xenogeneic GVHD mediated by human T cells in NSG mice, that both ex vivo depletion of CD45RChigh T cells and in vivo treatment with short-course anti-CD45RC mAbs inhibited aGVHD. In the rat model, we demonstrated that long surviving animals treated with anti-CD45RC mAbs were fully engrafted with donor cells and developed a donor-specific tolerance. Finally, we validated the rejection of a human tumor in NSG mice infused with human cells and treated with anti-CD45RC mAbs. The anti-human CD45RC mAbs showed a favorable safety profile because it did not abolish human memory antiviral immune responses, nor trigger cytokine release in in vitro assays. Altogether, our results show the potential of a prophylactic treatment with anti-human CD45RC mAbs in combination with rapamycin as a new therapy to treat aGVHD without abolishing the antitumor effect.
Project description:Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetic disorder associated with bone marrow (BM) failure and leukemia. Recent studies demonstrate variable immune defects in FA. However, the cause for FA immunodeficiency is unknown. Here we report that deletion of Fanca or Fancd2 dysregulates the suppressive activity of regulatory T cells (Tregs), shown functionally as exacerbation of graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) in mice. Recipient mice of Fanca(-/-) or Fancd2(-/-) BM chimeras exhibited severe acute GVHD after allogeneic BM transplantation (BMT). T cells from Fanca(-/-) or Fancd2(-/-) mice induced higher GVHD lethality than those from wild-type (WT) littermates. FA Tregs possessed lower proliferative suppression potential compared with WT Tregs, as demonstrated by in vitro proliferation assay and BMT. Analysis of CD25(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs indicated that loss of Fanca or Fancd2 dysregulated Foxp3 target gene expression. Additionally, CD25(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs of Fanca(-/-) or Fancd2(-/-) mice were less efficient in suppressing the production of GVHD-associated inflammatory cytokines. Consistently, aberrant NF-?B activity was observed in infiltrated T cells from FA GVHD mice. Conditional deletion of p65 in FA Tregs decreased GVHD mortality. Our study uncovers an essential role for FA proteins in maintaining Treg homeostasis, possibly explaining, at least in part, the immune deficiency reported in some FA patients.
Project description:Donor T lymphocyte transfer with hematopoietic stem cells suppresses residual tumor growth (graft-versus-tumor [GVT]) in cancer patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation (BMT). However, donor T cell reactivity to host organs causes severe and potentially lethal inflammation called graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). High-dose steroids or other immunosuppressive drugs are used to treat GVHD that have limited ability to control the inflammation while incurring long-term toxicity. Novel strategies are needed to modulate GVHD, preserve GVT, and improve the outcome of BMT. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) control alloantigen-sensitized inflammation of GVHD, sustain GVT, and prevent mortality in BMT. Helminths colonizing the alimentary tract dramatically increase the Treg activity, thereby modulating intestinal or systemic inflammatory responses. These observations led us to hypothesize that helminths can regulate GVHD and maintain GVT in mice. Acute GVHD was induced in helminth (Heligmosomoides polygyrus)-infected or uninfected BALB/c recipients of C57BL/6 donor grafts. Helminth infection suppressed donor T cell inflammatory cytokine generation and reduced GVHD-related mortality, but maintained GVT. H. polygyrus colonization promoted the survival of TGF-?-generating recipient Tregs after a conditioning regimen with total body irradiation and led to a TGF-?-dependent in vivo expansion/maturation of donor Tregs after BMT. Helminths did not control GVHD when T cells unresponsive to TGF-?-mediated immune regulation were used as donor T lymphocytes. These results suggest that helminths suppress acute GVHD using Tregs and TGF-?-dependent pathways in mice. Helminthic regulation of GVHD and GVT through intestinal immune conditioning may improve the outcome of BMT.
Project description:Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains the major complication after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT). The process whereby acute GVHD mediated by alloreactive donor T cells transitions into chronic GVHD, which is characterized by prominent features of auto-immunity, has long been unresolved. In this study, we demonstrate that GVHD-associated autoimmunity and, by extension, chronic GVHD is attributable to the progressive loss of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells during the course of acute GVHD. This leads to the expansion of donor-derived CD4(+) T cells with T(H)1 and T(H)17 cytokine phenotypes that release proinflammatory cytokines and cause autoimmune-mediated pathological damage. These T cells are present early after transplantation, indicating that the pathophysiological events that lead to chronic GVHD are set in motion during the acute phase of GVHD. We conclude that the absence of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells coupled with unregulated T(H)1 and T(H)17 cells leads to the development of autoimmunity and that donor-derived T(H)1 and T(H)17 cells serve as the nexus between acute and chronic GVHD.
Project description:The graft-versus-tumor (GVT) effect is a potent form of immunotherapy against many hematologic malignancies and some solid tumors. The beneficial GVT effect after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is tightly linked to its most significant complication, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). The role of interleukin-6 (IL-6) after allogeneic BMT is not well understood. This study used a series of complementary knockout and antibody blockade strategies to analyze the impact of IL-6 in multiple clinically relevant murine models of GVHD and GVT.We examined the effect of the source of IL-6 by analyzing the role IL-6 deficiency in donor T cells, donor bone marrow or in host tissues. We confirmed and extended the relevance of IL-6 deficiency on GVHD and GVT by treating BMT recipients with anti-mouse IL-6 receptor (IL-6R), MR16-1.Deficiency of IL-6 in donor T cells led to prolongation of survival. Total inhibition of IL-6 with MR16-1 caused an even greater reduction in GVHD-induced mortality. The reduction in GVHD was independent of the direct effects on T effector cell expansion or donor regulatory T cells. GVT responses were preserved after treatment with MR16-1.MR16-1 treatment reduced GVHD and preserved sufficient GVT. Tocilizumab, a humanized anti-IL-6R monoclonal antibody (mAb), is approved in several countries including the United States and European Union for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. Blockade of IL-6 with anti-IL-6R mAb therapy may be testable in clinical trials as an adjunct to prevent GVHD in BMT patients without a significant loss of GVT.