Plerixafor (Mozobil) is a CXCR4 antagonist that rapidly mobilizes CD34(+) cells into circulation. Recently, plerixafor has been used as a single agent to mobilize peripheral blood stem cells for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Although G-CSF mobilization is known to alter the phenotype and cytokine polarization of transplanted T cells, the effects of plerixafor mobilization on T cells have not been well characterized. In this study, we show that alterations in the T cell phenotype and cytokine gene expression profiles characteristic of G-CSF mobilization do not occur after mobilization with plerixafor. Compared with nonmobilized T cells, plerixafor-mobilized T cells had similar phenotype, mixed lymphocyte reactivity, and Foxp3 gene expression levels in CD4(+) T cells, and did not undergo a change in expression levels of 84 genes associated with Th1/Th2/Th3 pathways. In contrast with plerixafor, G-CSF mobilization decreased CD62L expression on both CD4 and CD8(+) T cells and altered expression levels of 16 cytokine-associated genes in CD3(+) T cells. To assess the clinical relevance of these findings, we explored a murine model of graft-versus-host disease in which transplant recipients received plerixafor or G-CSF mobilized allograft from MHC-matched, minor histocompatibility-mismatched donors; recipients of plerixafor mobilized peripheral blood stem cells had a significantly higher incidence of skin graft-versus-host disease compared with mice receiving G-CSF mobilized transplants (100 versus 50%, respectively, p = 0.02). These preclinical data show plerixafor, in contrast with G-CSF, does not alter the phenotype and cytokine polarization of T cells, which raises the possibility that T cell-mediated immune sequelae of allogeneic transplantation in humans may differ when donor allografts are mobilized with plerixafor compared with G-CSF.
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