The Journal of infectious diseases

Mogamulizumab, an anti-CCR4 antibody, targets human T-lymphotropic virus type 1-infected CD8+ and CD4+ T cells to treat associated myelopathy.

PMID 25104771


Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) can cause chronic spinal cord inflammation, known as HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). Since CD4(+)CCR4(+) T cells are the main HTLV-1 reservoir, we evaluated the defucosylated humanized anti-CCR4 antibody mogamulizumab as a treatment for HAM/TSP. We assessed the effects of mogamulizumab on peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 11 patients with HAM/TSP. We also studied how CD8(+) T cells, namely CD8(+) CCR4(+) T cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes, are involved in HTLV-1 infection and HAM/TSP pathogenesis and how they would be affected by mogamulizumab. Mogamulizumab effectively reduced the HTLV-1 proviral load (56.4% mean reduction at a minimum effective concentration of 0.01 µg/mL), spontaneous proliferation, and production of proinflammatory cytokines, including interferon γ (IFN-γ). Like CD4(+)CCR4(+) T cells, CD8(+)CCR4(+) T cells from patients with HAM/TSP exhibited high proviral loads and spontaneous IFN-γ production, unlike their CCR4(-) counterparts. CD8(+)CCR4(+) T cells from patients with HAM/TSP contained more IFN-γ-expressing cells and fewer interleukin 4-expressing cells than those from healthy donors. Notably, Tax-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes that may help control the HTLV-1 infection were overwhelmingly CCR4(-). We determined that CD8(+)CCR4(+) T cells and CD4(+)CCR4(+) T cells are prime therapeutic targets for treating HAM/TSP and propose mogamulizumab as a new treatment.