Quantitative characterization of T-cell repertoire in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients.
ABSTRACT: Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is one of curative treatment options for patients with hematologic malignancies. Although GVHD mediated by the donor's T lymphocytes remains the most challenging toxicity of allo-HSCT, graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect targeting leukemic cells, has an important role in affecting the overall outcome of patients with AML. Here we comprehensively characterized the TCR repertoire in patients who underwent matched donor or haplo-cord HSCT using next-generation sequencing approach. Our study defines the functional kinetics of each TCRA and TCRB clone, and changes in T-cell diversity (with identification of CDR3 sequences) and the extent of clonal expansion of certain T-cells. Using this approach, our study demonstrates that higher percentage of cord-blood cells at 30 days after transplant was correlated with higher diversity of TCR repertoire, implicating the role of cord-chimerism in enhancing immune recovery. Importantly, we found that GVHD and relapse, exclusive of each other, were correlated with lower TCR repertoire diversity and expansion of certain T-cell clones. Our results highlight novel insights into the balance between GVHD and GVL effect, suggesting that higher diversity early after transplant possibly implies lower risks of both GVHD and relapse following the HSCT transplantation.
Project description:Spectratyping assays are well recognized as the clinical gold standard for assessing the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire in haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients. These assays use length distributions of the hyper variable complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) to characterize a patient's T cell immune reconstitution post-transplant. However, whilst useful, TCR spectratyping is notably limited by its resolution, with the technique unable to provide data on the individual clonotypes present in a sample. High-resolution clonotype data are necessary to provide quantitative clinical TCR assessments and to better understand clonotype dynamics during clinically relevant events such as viral infections or GvHD. In this study we developed and applied a CDR3 Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) methodology to assess the TCR repertoire in cord blood transplant (CBT) recipients. Using this, we obtained comprehensive TCR data from 16 CBT patients and 5 control cord samples at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). These were analyzed to provide a quantitative measurement of the TCR repertoire and its constituents in patients post-CBT. We were able to both recreate and quantify inferences typically drawn from spectratyping data. Additionally, we demonstrate that an NGS approach to TCR assessment can provide novel insights into the recovery of the immune system in these patients. We show that NGS can be used to accurately quantify TCR repertoire diversity and to provide valuable inference on clonotypes detected in a sample. We serially assessed the progress of T cell immune reconstitution demonstrating that there is dramatic variation in TCR diversity immediately following transplantation and that the dynamics of T cell immune reconstitution is perturbed by the presence of GvHD. These findings provide a proof of concept for the adoption of NGS TCR sequencing in clinical practice.
Project description:Disease relapse and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) are the major complications affecting the outcomes of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). While the functions of ??T cells are extensively studied, the role of donor ??T cells in allo-HSCT is less well defined. Using TCR?-/- donors lacking ??T cells, we demonstrated that donor ??T cells were critical in mediating graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect during allo-HSCT. In the absence of donor ??T cells, IFN-? production by CD8+ T cells was severely impaired. V?4 subset was the major ??T cell subset mediating the GVL effect in vivo, which was partially dependent on IL-17A. Meanwhile, donor ??T cells could mitigate acute GVHD in a murine allo-HSCT model by suppressing CD4+ T cell activation and the major ??T cell subset that exerted this protective function was also V?4 ??T cells. Therefore, our findings provide evidence that donor ??T cells, especially V?4 subset, can enhance GVL effect and mitigate aGVHD during allo-HSCT.
Project description:The outcome for T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) in relapse after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is quite poor, while, both donor lymphocytes infusion (DLI) and adoptively infusion of ?? T cells in leukemia patients after HSCT have demonstrated good results in prolonging survival time of patients. Here, we reported a T-ALL case who experienced three relapses and received HSCT and DLI with an overall survival (OS) time lasting for more than seven years. Based on our previous identification of a leukemic and reactive clone in this patient, continual ?? T cell repertoire monitoring affirmed that the same V?5 leukemic clone existed in most samples from the patient, particularly including a sample taken at the time of the third T-ALL relapse, while it could not be detected in the donor sample. In addition, an identical V?4 monoclonal T cell that proliferated in the recipient for several years was confirmed to come from the donor graft, and its expression level significantly increased in third leukemia recurrence. These results indicate that clonally expanded V?4 T cells may represent a reconstituted ?? T cell repertoire after HSCT, which also hints to a relatively better outcome for this case. Based on this case study, we recommend DLI should be as a treatment strategy for patients who achieve CR or relapse from HSCT. Moreover, dynamically monitoring the TCR repertoire in patients who receive HSCT will benefit in supervising of malignant clone evolution and residue, identifying T cell clones mediate anti-infection, GvHD or GvL.
Project description:Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (A-HSCT) remains the only curative option for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). We used the NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) murine model for MDS to study HSCT in a pre-clinical setting. NHD13 recipients transplanted with syngeneic bone marrow (S-HSCT) following myeloablative irradiation showed disease remission, with normalization of peripheral blood parameters and marked decrease in circulating leukocytes derived from the MDS clone. Despite the disease remission and improved survival compared to non-transplanted NHD13 controls, all mice eventually relapsed, indicating persistence of a long-lived radio-resistant MDS clone. In an effort to induce a graft versus leukemia (GVL) effect, A-HSCT with donor bone marrow that was mismatched at minor histocompatibility loci was compared to S-HSCT. Although recipients in the A-HSCT showed a lower early relapse rate than in S-HSCT, all mice in both groups eventually relapsed and died by 54 weeks post-transplant. To obtain a more significant GVL effect, donor splenocytes containing reactive T-cells were transplanted with allogeneic bone marrow. Although the relapse rate was only 20% at post-transplantation week 38, suggesting a GVL effect, this was accompanied by a severe graft versus host disease (GVHD) Taken together, these findings indicate that a myeloablative dose of ionizing radiation is insufficient to eradicate the MDS initiating cell, and that transplantation of donor splenocytes leads to decreased relapse rates, at the cost of severe GVHD. We suggest that NHD13 mice represent a feasible pre-clinical model for the study of HSCT for MDS.
Project description:Delayed T cell recovery and restricted T cell receptor (TCR) diversity after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) are associated with increased risks of infection and cancer relapse. Technical challenges have limited faithful measurement of TCR diversity after allo-HSCT. Here we combined 5' rapid amplification of complementary DNA ends PCR with deep sequencing to quantify TCR diversity in 28 recipients of allo-HSCT using a single oligonucleotide pair. Analysis of duplicate blood samples confirmed that we accurately determined the frequency of individual TCRs. After 6 months, cord blood-graft recipients approximated the TCR diversity of healthy individuals, whereas recipients of T cell-depleted peripheral-blood stem cell grafts had 28-fold and 14-fold lower CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell diversities, respectively. After 12 months, these deficiencies had improved for the CD4(+) but not the CD8(+) T cell compartment. Overall, this method provides unprecedented views of T cell repertoire recovery after allo-HSCT and may identify patients at high risk of infection or relapse.
Project description:Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major obstacle for the wider usage of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), which is an effective therapy for hematopoietic malignancy. Here we show that caspase-11, the cytosolic receptor for bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide: LPS), enhances GVHD severity. Allo-HSCT markedly increases the LPS-caspase-11 interaction, leading to the cleavage of gasdermin D (GSDMD). Caspase-11 and GSDMD mediate the release of interleukin-1α (IL-1α) in allo-HSCT. Deletion of Caspase-11 or Gsdmd, inhibition of LPS-caspase-11 interaction, or neutralizing IL-1α uniformly reduces intestinal inflammation, tissue damage, donor T cell expansion and mortality in allo-HSCT. Importantly, Caspase-11 deficiency does not decrease the graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) activity, which is essential to prevent cancer relapse. These findings have major implications for allo-HSCT, as pharmacological interference with the caspase-11 signaling might reduce GVHD while preserving GVL activity.
Project description:TcR??/CD19-cell depleted HLA-haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (haplo-HSCT) represents a promising new platform for children affected by acute leukemia in need of an allograft and lacking a matched donor, disease recurrence being the main cause of treatment failure. The use of zoledronic acid to enhance TcR??+ lymphocyte function after TcR??/CD19-cell depleted haplo-HSCT was tested in an open-label, feasibility, proof-of-principle study. Forty-six children affected by high-risk acute leukemia underwent haplo-HSCT after removal of TcR??+ and CD19+ B lymphocytes. No post-transplant pharmacological graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) prophylaxis was given. Zoledronic acid was administered monthly at a dose of 0.05 mg/kg/dose (maximum dose 4 mg), starting from day +20 after transplantation. A total of 139 infusions were administered, with a mean of 3 infusions per patient. No severe adverse event was observed. Common side effects were represented by asymptomatic hypocalcemia and acute phase reactions (including fever, chills, malaise, and/or arthralgia) within 24-48 h from zoledronic acid infusion. The cumulative incidence of acute and chronic GvHD was 17.3% (all grade I-II) and 4.8% (all limited), respectively. Patients given 3 or more infusions of zoledronic acid had a lower incidence of both acute GvHD (8.8 vs. 41.6%, p = 0.015) and chronic GvHD (0 vs. 22.2%, p = 0.006). Transplant-related mortality (TRM) and relapse incidence at 3 years were 4.3 and 30.4%, respectively. Patients receiving repeated infusions of zoledronic acid had a lower TRM as compared to those receiving 1 or 2 administration of the drug (0 vs. 16.7%, p = 0.01). Five-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) for the whole cohort were 67.2 and 65.2%, respectively, with a trend toward a better OS for patients receiving 3 or more infusions (73.1 vs. 50.0%, p = 0.05). The probability of GvHD/relapse-free survival was significantly worse in patients receiving 1-2 infusions of zoledonic acid than in those given ?3 infusions (33.3 vs. 70.6%, respectively, p = 0.006). Multivariable analysis showed an independent positive effect on outcome given by repeated infusions of zoledronic acid (HR 0.27, p = 0.03). These data indicate that the use of zoledronic acid after TcR??/CD19-cell depleted haploHSCT is safe and may result in a lower incidence of acute GvHD, chronic GvHD, and TRM.
Project description:Despite the increasing use of humanized mouse models to study new approaches of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prevention, the pathogenesis of xenogeneic GVHD (xGVHD) in these models remains misunderstood. The aim of this study is to describe this pathogenesis in NOD/LtSz-PrkdcscidIL2r?tm1Wjl (NSG) mice infused with human PBMCs and to assess the impact of the expression of HLA-A0201 by NSG mice cells (NSG-HLA-A2/HHD mice) on xGVHD and graft-versus-leukemia (GvL) effects, by taking advantage of next-generation technologies. We found that T cells recovered from NSG mice after transplantation had upregulated expression of genes involved in cell proliferation, as well as in TCR, co-stimulatory, IL-2/STAT5, mTOR and Aurora kinase A pathways. T cells had mainly an effector memory or an effector phenotype and exhibited a Th1/Tc1-skewed differentiation. TCR? repertoire diversity was markedly lower both in the spleen and lungs (a xGVHD target organ) than at infusion. There was no correlation between the frequencies of specific clonotypes at baseline and in transplanted mice. Finally, expression of HLA-A0201 by NSG mice led to more severe xGVHD and enhanced GvL effects toward HLA-A2+ leukemic cells. Altogether our data demonstrate that the pathogenesis of xGVHD shares important features with human GVHD and that NSG-HLA-A2/HHD mice could serve as better model to study GVHD and GvL effects.
Project description:T-cell receptor (TCR) ?? cells are perceived as innate-like effector cells with the possibility of mediating graft-vs. -tumor (GVT) without causing graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD) in the setting of hematopoietic allogeneic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We conducted a prospective study to assess the clinical impact of TCR ?? cell immune reconstitution on overall survival, relapse-free-survival, relapse and GVHD. The impact of CD3, CD4, and CD8 T cells together with NK cells including subtypes were analyzed in parallel. A total of 108 patients with hematological malignancies transplanted with HLA-matched, T cell replete stem cell grafts were included for analyses of absolute concentrations of CD3, CD4, and CD8 positive T cells and NK cells together with a multi-color flow cytometry panel with staining for TCR??, TCR??, V?1, V?2, CD3, CD4, CD8, HLA-DR, CD196, CD45RO, CD45RA, CD16, CD56, CD337, and CD314 at 28, 56, 91, 180, and 365 days after transplantation. Immune reconstitution data including subsets and differentiation markers of T and NK cells during the first year after transplantation was provided. Patients with TCR ?? cell concentrations above the median value of 21 (0-416) × 106 cells/L 56 days after transplantation had significantly improved overall survival (p = 0.001) and relapse-free survival (p = 0.007) compared to patients with concentrations below this value. When day 56 cell subset concentrations were included as continuous variables, TCR ?? cells were the only T cell subsets with a significant impact on OS and RFS; the impact of TCR ?? cells remained statistically significant in multivariate analyses adjusted for pre-transplant risk factors. The risk of death from relapse was significantly decreased in patients with high concentrations of TCR ?? cells 56 days after transplantation (p = 0.003). Also, the risk of acute GVHD was significantly lower in patients with day 28 TCR ?? cell concentrations above the median of 18 × 106 cells/L compared to patients with low concentrations (p = 0.01). These results suggest a protective role of TCR ?? cells in relapse and GVHD and encourage further research in developing adaptive TCR ?? cell therapy for improving outcomes after HSCT.
Project description:Graft versus host disease (GVHD) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality following allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). Despite the use of prophylactic GVHD regimens, a significant proportion of transplant recipients will develop acute or chronic GVHD following HSCT. Corticosteroids are standard first-line therapy, but are only effective in roughly half of all cases with ~50% of patients going on to develop steroid-refractory disease, which increases the risk of nonrelapse mortality. While progress has been made with improvements in survival outcomes over time, corticosteroids are associated with significant toxicities, and many currently available salvage therapies are associated with increased immunosuppression, infectious complications, and potential loss of the graft versus leukemia (GVL) effect. Thus, there is an unmet need for development of newer treatment strategies for both acute and chronic GVHD to improve long-term post-transplant outcomes and quality of life for HSCT recipients. Here, we provide a concise review of major emerging therapies currently being studied in the treatment of acute and chronic GVHD.