The Korean journal of internal medicine

Third-party regulatory T cells prevent murine acute graft-versus-host disease.

PMID 29050459


Adoptive therapy with regulatory T (Treg) cells to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) would benefit from a strategy to improve homing to the sites of inflammation following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Although donor-derived Treg cells have mainly been used in these models, third-party-derived Treg cells are a promising alternative for cell-based immunotherapy, as they can be screened for pathogens and cell activity, and banked for GVHD prevention. In this study, we explored major histocompatibility complex (MHC) disparities between Treg cells and conventional T cells in HSCT to evaluate the impact of these different cell populations on the prevention of acute GVHD, as well as survival after allogeneic transplantation. To induce acute GVHD, lethally irradiated BALB/c (H-2d) mice were transplanted with 5 × 105 T cell-depleted bone marrow cells and 5 × 105 CD4+CD25- splenic T cells from C57BL/6 (H-2b) mice. Recipients were injected with 5 × 105 cultured donor-, host-, or third-party-derived CD4+CD25+CD62L+ Treg cells (bone marrow transplantation + day 1). Systemic infusion of three groups of Treg cell improved clinicopathological manifestations and survival in an acute GVHD model. Although donor-derived Treg cells were immunologically the most effective, the third-party-derived Treg cell therapy group displayed equal regulation of expansion of CD4+CD25+- Foxp3+ Treg cells and suppressive CD4+IL-17+ T-helper (Th17) cells in ex vivo assays compared with the donor- and host-derived groups. Our findings demonstrate that the use of third-party Treg cells is a viable alternative to donor-derived Treg cellular therapy in clinical settings, in which human leukocyte antigen-matched donors are not always readily available.