Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT) can cure patients with otherwise fatal leukemias and lymphomas. However, the benefits of aHSCT are limited by graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Minnelide, a water-soluble analog of triptolide, has demonstrated potent antiinflammatory and antitumor activity in several preclinical models and has proven both safe and efficacious in clinical trials for advanced gastrointestinal malignancies. Here, we tested the effectiveness of Minnelide in preventing acute GVHD as compared with posttransplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy). Strikingly, we found Minnelide improved survival, weight loss, and clinical scores in an MHC-mismatched model of aHSCT. These benefits were also apparent in minor MHC–matched aHSCT and xenogeneic HSCT models. Minnelide was comparable to PTCy in terms of survival, GVHD clinical score, and colonic length. Notably, in addition to decreased donor T cell infiltration early after aHSCT, several regulatory cell populations, including Tregs, ILC2s, and myeloid-derived stem cells in the colon were increased, which together may account for Minnelide’s GVHD suppression after aHSCT. Importantly, Minnelide’s GVHD prevention was accompanied by preservation of graft-versus-tumor activity. As Minnelide possesses anti–acute myeloid leukemia (anti-AML) activity and is being applied in clinical trials, together with the present findings, we conclude that this compound might provide a new approach for patients with AML undergoing aHSCT.


Sabrina N. Copsel, Vanessa T. Garrido, Henry Barreras, Cameron S. Bader, Brent Pfeiffer, Beatriz Mateo-Victoriano, Dietlinde Wolf, Miguel Gallardo, Sophie Paczesny, Krishna V. Komanduri, Cara L. Benjamin, Alejandro V. Villarino, Ashok K. Saluja, Robert B. Levy


Download this citation for these citation managers:

Or, download this citation in these formats:

If you experience problems using these citation formats, send us feedback.