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Pathogenic Bhlhe40+ GM-CSF+ CD4+ T cells promote indirect alloantigen presentation in the GI tract during GVHD.


ABSTRACT: 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.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7033370 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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