A novel nonradioactive CFDA assay to monitor the cellular immune response in myeloid leukemia.

PMID 22883564


Donor lymphocyte transfusion (DLT) may induce the graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect for patients with AML relapsed after transplant. However, AML is a highly diverse disease and the limited overall efficacy of DLT in clinical practice emphasizes the importance of identifying a specific subgroup of patients who might benefit from this treatment approach. To monitor the cellular immune response after DLT, we developed an active specific immunization strategy using in vitro generated AML-trained T cells to induce a highly specific antileukemic T-cell response and thus established a novel nonradioactive assay system to assess the antileukemia immunity by flow cytometry, correlated with [3H]-thymidine uptake. The myeloid blasts derived from five patients with AML relapsed post-allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) were first labeled with CFDA (5,6-carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester). To analyze the growth inhibitory potential of the donor T cells trained by AML progenitor cells, the myeloid blasts were induced to proliferate by means of a cytokine cocktail (50ng/mL of SCF; 25ng/mL of IL-3; 100ng/mL of GM-CSF; 100ng/mL of G-CSF; 2U/mL of EPO; 0.47g/L of transferrin; and 5×10(-5)mmol/L of 2-ME). The T cell mediated growth inhibitory potential was detected after 5 days by flow cytometry and correlated with [3H]-thymidine uptake. The simultaneous use of TO-PRO-dye and calibrate beads allowed not only the cell viability to be known but also allowed quantification of the effector function. Here, we applied a CFDA dye to track the proliferation and expansion of AML blasts in response to the cytokine cocktail in vitro. AML-trained T cells, expressed high levels of the activation markers CD25 and CD69, and were generated to recognize the leukemic progenitor cells and inhibit cytokine-induced leukemic cell proliferation, which is an active specific immunization strategy circumventing the identification of leukemia-associated antigens. The capability of proliferation inhibition of AML-trained T cells evaluated with our nonradioactive, CFDA-based assay provided comparable results with the classic [3H]-thymidine assay with an even lower ratio of effector to target cells. Taken together, the novel, nonradioactive, CFDA-based assay was a robust tool to monitor the antileukemic immune response after DLT in myeloid leukemias.

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