Recent Metabolic Advances for Preventing and Treating Acute and Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease
ABSTRACT: The therapeutic efficacy of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is limited by the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In GVHD, rigorous pre-conditioning regimen resets the immune landscape and inflammatory milieu causing immune dysregulation, characterized by an expansion of alloreactive cells and a reduction in immune regulatory cells. In acute GVHD (aGVHD), the release of damage- and pathogen- associated molecular patterns from damaged tissue caused by the conditioning regimen sets the stage for T cell priming, activation and expansion further exacerbating tissue injury and organ damage, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have shown that donor T cells utilize multiple energetic and biosynthetic pathways to mediate GVHD that can be distinct from the pathways used by regulatory T cells for their suppressive function. In chronic GVHD (cGVHD), donor T cells may differentiate into IL-21 producing T follicular helper cells or tissue resident T helper cells that cooperate with germinal center B cells or memory B cells, respectively, to produce allo- and auto-reactive antibodies with subsequent tissue fibrosis. Alternatively, donor T cells can become IFN- γ/IL-17 cytokine expressing T cells that mediate sclerodermatous skin injury. Patients refractory to the first line standard regimens for GVHD treatment have a poor prognosis indicating an urgent need for new therapies to restore the balance between effector and regulatory immune cells while preserving the beneficial graft-versus-tumor effect. Emerging data points toward a role for metabolism in regulating these allo- and auto-immune responses. Here, we will discuss the preclinical and clinical data available on the distinct metabolic demands of acute and chronic GVHD and recent efforts in identifying therapeutic targets using metabolomics. Another dimension of this review will examine the changing microbiome after allo-HSCT and the role of microbial metabolites such as short chain fatty acids and long chain fatty acids on regulating immune responses. Lastly, we will examine the metabolic implications of coinhibitory pathway blockade and cellular therapies in allo-HSCT. In conclusion, greater understanding of metabolic pathways involved in immune cell dysregulation during allo-HSCT may pave the way to provide novel therapies to prevent and treat GVHD.
Project description:Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is a potential curative treatment for hematologic malignancies and non-malignant diseases. Because of the lower toxicity of reduced intensity conditioning, the number of transplants is in constant increase. However, allo-HSCT is still limited by complications, such as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which is associated with important morbidity and mortality. Acute GVHD is an exacerbated inflammatory response that leads to the destruction of healthy host tissues by donor immune cells. Recently, the contribution of innate immunity in GVHD triggering has been investigated by several groups and resulted in the identification of new cellular and molecular effectors involved in GVHD pathogenesis. Interleukin-22 (IL-22) is produced by both immune and adaptive cells and has both protective and inflammatory properties. Its role in GVHD processes has been investigated, and the data suggest that its effect depends on the timing, the target tissue, and the origin of the producing cells (donor/host). In this review, we discuss the role of IL-22 in allo-HSCT and GVHD.
Project description:Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (Allo-HSCT) with donor lymphocyte infusion is the mainstay of treatment for many types of hematological malignancies, but the therapeutic effect and prevention of relapse is complicated by donor T-cell recognition and attack of host tissue in a process known as graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). Cytotoxic myeloablative conditioning regimens used prior to Allo-HSCT result in the release of endogenous innate immune activators that are increasingly recognized for their role in creating a pro-inflammatory milieu. This increased inflammatory state promotes allogeneic T-cell activation and the induction and perpetuation of GvHD. Here, we review the processes of cellular response to injury and cell death that are relevant following Allo-HSCT and present the current evidence for a causative role of a variety of endogenous innate immune activators in the mediation of sterile inflammation following Allo-HSCT. Finally, we discuss the potential therapeutic strategies that target the endogenous pathways of innate immune activation to decrease the incidence and severity of GvHD following Allo-HSCT.
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:We assessed the clinical effects of a supervised exercise (aerobic + resistance) intervention performed during inpatient hospitalization for pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Patients were placed in an exercise (n = 65 (47 and 18 with allogeneic (allo-) and autologous (auto-) HSCT, respectively)) or a control (n = 53 (39 and 14)) group. Exercise interventions were performed in isolated hospital patient rooms. Patients were followed-up from the beginning of the conditioning phase up to 6 years. We assessed survival, risk of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) or graft failure (primary outcomes), and engraftment kinetics, supportive care, toxicity profile, and immune reconstitution for auto-HSCT and allo-HSCT. The exercise intervention was safe and did not affect the risk of mortality, acute/chronic GvHD, or graft failure (all p > 0.05). No between-group differences (p > 0.05) were found for the remainder of clinical endpoints, except for a reduced number of total and viral infections in the exercise group after allo-HSCT (unadjusted p = 0.005 for both total and viral infections, and adjusted p = 0.023 and 0.083, respectively). In conclusion, exercise performed during inpatient hospitalization for pediatric HSCT is safe and well tolerated during both auto and allo-HSCT and tends to decrease the risk of infection after allo-HSCT. These findings provide additional support to the notion that a multidisciplinary approach (i.e., including the work of exercise specialists) is suitable in the management of children undergoing HSCT. Further studies are needed to determine whether applying a different training stimulus (notably, higher exercise intensities) exerts positive effects on HSCT prognosis in these patients.
Project description:T cell mixed chimerism (MC) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) with myeloablative conditioning for hematological malignancies may indicate engraftment failure or disease relapse. Immune modulation, such as donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) or the rapid tapering-off or stopping of immunosuppressive treatment, can reverse MC to full donor chimerism (FDC). However, the development or aggravation of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and the related mortality remain major concerns with immune modulation. In this prospective, single-arm study (NCT03663751), we tested the efficacy and safety of low-dose decitabine (LD-DAC, 5 mg/m<sup>2</sup> daily for 5 days and repeated every 6-8 weeks) without immune modulation in the treatment of patients with MC to prevent MC-associated relapse and/or graft failure. A total of 14 patients were enrolled. All the patients received myeloablative conditioning regimens, and MC was documented from day +30 to day +180 after allo-HSCT with a donor chimerism level ranging from 59 to 97% without detectable measurable residual disease (MRD). Eleven patients (78.6%) responded favorably to treatment, showing increased levels of donor chimerism (?95%), while nine achieved FDC. All of these patients maintained their responses for a median of 11 months (3-22). The three patients who failed to respond favorably eventually either relapsed or experienced graft failure. All three were alive and in remission at the last follow-up after the second allo-HSCT. LD-DAC monotherapy was well tolerated and exerted limited hematological and nonhematological toxicities. New-onset GvHD symptoms were observed only in two patients. Overall, the estimated 2-year overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) after allo-HSCT were 90.9 ± 8.7% and 67.0 ± 13.7%, respectively. In conclusion, LD-DAC alone could reverse MC in most patients after allo-HSCT with myeloablative conditioning, while those who achieved FDC enjoyed long-term EFS without major complications. Further prospective studies with larger sample sizes are warranted to confirm the benefits of LD-DAC.
Project description:Allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) was the first successful therapy for patients with haematological malignancies, predominantly owing to graft-versus-tumour (GvT) effects. Dramatic methodological changes, designed to expand eligibility for allo-HSCT to older patients and/or those with comorbidities, have led to the use of reduced-intensity conditioning regimens, in parallel with more aggressive immunosuppression to better control graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). Consequently, disease relapse has become the major cause of death following allo-HSCT. Hence, the prevention and treatment of relapse has come to the forefront and remains an unmet medical need. Despite >60 years of preclinical and clinical studies, the immunological requirements necessary to achieve GvT effects without promoting GvHD have not been fully established. Herein, we review learnings from preclinical modelling and clinical studies relating to the GvT effect, focusing on mechanisms of relapse and on immunomodulatory strategies that are being developed to overcome disease recurrence after both allo-HSCT and autologous HSCT. Emphasis is placed on discussing current knowledge and approaches predicated on the use of cell therapies, cytokines to augment immune responses and dual-purpose antibody therapies or other pharmacological agents that can control GvHD whilst simultaneously targeting cancer cells.
Project description:Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is one of the most widely applied forms of adoptive immunotherapy for the treatment of hematological malignancies. Detrimental graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), but also beneficial graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effects occurring after allo-HSCT are largely mediated by alloantigen-reactive donor T cells in the graft. Separating GVHD from GVL effects is a formidable challenge, and a greater understanding of donor T cell biology is required to accomplish the uncoupling of GVHD from GVL. Here, we evaluated the role of β-catenin in this process. Using a unique mouse model of transgenic overexpression of human β-catenin (<i>Cat-Tg</i>) in an allo-HSCT model, we show here that T cells from <i>Cat-Tg</i> mice did not cause GVHD, and surprisingly, <i>Cat-Tg</i> T cells maintained the GVL effect. Donor T cells from <i>Cat-Tg</i> mice exhibited significantly lower inflammatory cytokine production and reduced donor T cell proliferation, while upregulating cytotoxic mediators that resulted in enhanced cytotoxicity. RNA sequencing revealed changes in the expression of 1169 genes for CD4, and 1006 genes for CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells involved in essential aspects of immune response and GVHD pathophysiology. Altogether, our data suggest that β-catenin is a druggable target for developing therapeutic strategies to reduce GVHD while preserving the beneficial GVL effects following allo-HSCT treatment.
Project description:Primary immunodeficiencies (PID) are heterogeneous inborn errors of the immune system. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is curative and safe at the pediatric age but remains underperformed in adults. We report our experience on 32 consecutive adult patients with various PID including 17 (53%) with a combined immune deficiency, six (19%) with a disease of immune dysregulation and nine (28%) with a chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) who underwent an allo-HSCT between 2011 and 2020. The median age at transplant was 27 years (17-41). All assessable patients engrafted. The majority of patients received a fludarabine-Busulfan (FB) based regimen (FB2-3 in 16, FB4 in 12). Overall survival (OS) was 80.4% (100% for CGD and 74% for other PID patients) at 9 months and beyond (median follow-up 51.6 months). Six patients died, all in the first-year post-transplant. Cumulative incidences of grade II-IV acute GVHD/chronic GVHD were 18%/22%. Stem cell source, GVHD prophylaxis and conditioning intensity had no impact on OS. All surviving patients had over 90% donor chimerism, immune reconstitution, no sign of active PID related complications and were clinically improved. Allo-HSCT is effective in young adults PID patients with an acceptable toxicity and should be discussed in case of life-threatening PID.
Project description:Allogeneic hematopoetic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is a standard treatment for leukemia and other hematologic malignancies. The major complication of allo-HSCT is graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD), a progressive inflammatory illness characterized by donor immune cells attacking the organs of the recipient. Current GVHD prevention and treatment strategies use immune suppressive drugs and/or anti-T cell reagents these can lead to increased risk of infections and tumor relapse. Recent research demonstrated that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a component found in green tea leaves at a level of 25-35% at dry weight, may be useful in the inhibition of GVHD due to its immune modulatory, anti-oxidative and anti-angiogenic capacities. In murine allo-HSCT recipients treated with EGCG, we found significantly reduced GVHD scores, reduced target organ GVHD and improved survival. EGCG treated allo-HSCT recipients had significantly higher numbers of regulatory T cells in GVHD target organs and in the blood. Furthermore, EGCG treatment resulted in diminished oxidative stress indicated by significant changes of glutathione blood levels as well as glutathione peroxidase in the colon. In summary, our study provides novel evidence demonstrating that EGCG ameliorates lethal GVHD and reduces GVHD-related target organ damage. Possible mechanisms are increased regulatory T cell numbers and reduced oxidative stress.
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.