Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGvHD) remains a major complication of allogeneic stem cell transplantation requiring novel therapies. CD146 and CCR5 are expressed by activated T cells and associated with increased T cell migration capacity and Th17 polarization. We performed a multiparametric flow cytometry analysis in a cohort of 40 HSCT patients together with a cGvHD murine model to understand the role of CD146-expressing subsets. We observed an increased frequency of CD146+ CD4 T cells in the 20 patients with active cGvHD with enhanced RORγt expression. This Th17-prone subset was enriched for cells coexpressing CD146 and CCR5 that harbor mixed Th1/Th17 features and were more frequent in cGvHD patients. Utilizing a murine cGvHD model with bronchiolitis obliterans (BO), we observed that donor T cells from CD146-deficient mice versus those from WT mice caused significantly reduced pulmonary cGvHD. Reduced cGvHD was not the result of failed germinal center B cell or T follicular helper cell generation. Instead, CD146-deficient T cells had significantly lower pulmonary macrophage infiltration and T cell CCR5, IL-17, and IFN-γ coexpression, suggesting defective pulmonary end-organ effector mechanisms. We, thus, evaluated the effect of TMP778, a small-molecule RORγt activity inhibitor. TMP778 markedly alleviated cGvHD in murine models similarly to agents targeting the Th17 pathway, such as STAT3 inhibitor or IL-17–blocking antibody. Our data suggest CD146-expressing T cells as a cGvHD biomarker and suggest that targeting the Th17 pathway may represent a promising therapy for cGvHD.
Edouard Forcade, Katelyn Paz, Ryan Flynn, Brad Griesenauer, Tohti Amet, Wei Li, Liangyi Liu, Giorgos Bakoyannis, Di Jiang, Hong Wei Chu, Mercedes Lobera, Jianfei Yang, David S. Wilkes, Jing Du, Kate Gartlan, Geoffrey R. Hill, Kelli P.A. MacDonald, Eduardo L. Espada, Patrick Blanco, Jonathan S. Serody, John Koreth, Corey S. Cutler, Joseph H. Antin, Robert J. Soiffer, Jerome Ritz, Sophie Paczesny, Bruce R. Blazar
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) offers a cure for cancers that are refractory to chemotherapy and radiation. Most HSCT recipients develop chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), a systemic alloimmune attack on host organs. Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and symptoms, as biopsies are risky. T cells are central to the biology of cGVHD. We found that a low Treg/CD4+ T effector memory (Tem) ratio in circulation, lymphoid, and target organs identified early and established mouse cGVHD. Using deuterated water labeling to measure multicompartment in vivo kinetics of these subsets, we show robust Tem and Treg proliferation in lymphoid and target organs, while Tregs undergo apoptosis in target organs. Since deuterium enrichment into DNA serves as a proxy for cell proliferation, we developed a whole-body clinically relevant deuterium MRI approach to nonradioactively detect cGVHD and potentially allow imaging of other diseases characterized by rapidly proliferating cells.
Nataliya P. Buxbaum, Donald E. Farthing, Natella Maglakelidze, Martin Lizak, Hellmut Merkle, Andrea C. Carpenter, Brittany U. Oliver, Veena Kapoor, Ehydel Castro, Gregory A. Swan, Liliane M. dos Santos, Nicolas J. Bouladoux, Catherine V. Bare, Francis A. Flomerfelt, Michael A. Eckhaus, William G. Telford, Yasmine Belkaid, Remy J. Bosselut, Ronald E. Gress
Conventional histologic diagnosis of rejection in kidney transplants has limited repeatability due to its inherent requirement for subjective assessment of lesions, in a rule-based system that does not acknowledge diagnostic uncertainty. Molecular phenotyping affords opportunities for increased precision and improved disease classification to address the limitations of conventional histologic diagnostic systems and quantify levels of uncertainty. Microarray data from 1,208 kidney transplant biopsies were collected prospectively from 13 centers. Cross-validated classifier scores predicting the presence of antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR), T cell–mediated rejection (TCMR), and 5 related histologic lesions were generated using supervised machine learning methods. These scores were used as input for archetypal analysis, an unsupervised method similar to cluster analysis, to examine the distribution of molecular phenotypes related to rejection. Six archetypes were generated: no rejection, TCMR, 3 associated with ABMR (early-stage, fully developed, and late-stage), and mixed rejection (TCMR plus early-stage ABMR). Each biopsy was assigned 6 scores, one for each archetype, representing a probabilistic assessment of that biopsy based on its rejection-related molecular properties. Viewed as clusters, the archetypes were similar to existing histologic Banff categories, but there was 32% disagreement, much of it probably reflecting the “noise” in the current histologic assessment system. Graft survival was lowest for fully developed and late-stage ABMR, and it was better predicted by molecular archetype scores than histologic diagnoses. The results provide a system for precision molecular assessment of biopsies and a new standard for recalibrating conventional diagnostic systems.
Jeff Reeve, Georg A. Böhmig, Farsad Eskandary, Gunilla Einecke, Carmen Lefaucheur, Alexandre Loupy, Philip F. Halloran, the MMDx-Kidney study group
Infusion of in vitro–derived T cell progenitor (proT) therapy with hematopoietic stem cell transplant aids the recovery of the thymus damaged by total body irradiation. To understand the interaction between proTs and the thymic microenvironment, WT mice were lethally irradiated and given T cell–deficient (
Michelle J. Smith, Dawn K. Reichenbach, Sarah L. Parker, Megan J. Riddle, Jason Mitchell, Kevin C. Osum, Mahmood Mohtashami, Heather E. Stefanski, Brian T. Fife, Avinash Bhandoola, Kristin A. Hogquist, Georg A. Holländer, Juan Carlos Zúñiga-Pflücker, Jakub Tolar, Bruce R. Blazar
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is an effective immunotherapy for a variety of hematologic malignances, yet its efficacy is impeded by the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). GVHD is characterized by activation, expansion, cytokine production, and migration of alloreactive donor T cells. Hence, strategies to limit GVHD are highly desirable. Ceramides are known to contribute to inflammation and autoimmunity. However, their involvement in T-cell responses to alloantigens is undefined. In the current study, we specifically characterized the role of ceramide synthase 6 (CerS6) after allo-HCT using genetic and pharmacologic approaches. We found that CerS6 was required for optimal T cell activation, proliferation, and cytokine production in response to alloantigen and for subsequent induction of GVHD. However, CerS6 was partially dispensable for the T cell–mediated antileukemia effect. At the molecular level, CerS6 was required for efficient TCR signal transduction, including tyrosine phosphorylation, ZAP-70 activation, and PKCθ/TCR colocalization. Impaired generation of C16-ceramide was responsible for diminished allogeneic T cell responses. Furthermore, targeting CerS6 using a specific inhibitor significantly reduced T cell activation in mouse and human T cells in vitro. Our study provides a rationale for targeting CerS6 to control GVHD, which would enhance the efficacy of allo-HCT as an immunotherapy for hematologic malignancies in the clinic.
M. Hanief Sofi, Jessica Heinrichs, Mohammed Dany, Hung Nguyen, Min Dai, David Bastian, Steven Schutt, Yongxia Wu, Anusara Daenthanasanmak, Salih Gencer, Aleksandra Zivkovic, Zdzislaw Szulc, Holger Stark, Chen Liu, Ying-Jun Chang, Besim Ogretmen, Xue-Zhong Yu
Despite recent evidence of improved graft outcomes and safety, the high incidence of early acute cellular rejection with belatacept, a high-affinity CTLA4-Ig, has limited its use in clinical transplantation. Here we define how the incomplete control of endogenous donor-reactive memory T cells results in belatacept-resistant rejection in an experimental model of BALB/c.2W-OVA donor heart transplantation into C57BL/6 recipients presensitized to donor splenocytes. These sensitized mice harbored modestly elevated numbers of endogenous donor-specific memory T cells and alloantibodies compared with naive recipients. Continuous CTLA4-Ig treatment was unexpectedly efficacious at inhibiting endogenous graft-reactive T cell expansion but was unable to inhibit late CD4+ and CD8+ T cell infiltration into the allografts, and rejection was observed in 50% of recipients by day 35 after transplantation. When CTLA4-Ig was combined with the sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor-1 (S1PR1) functional antagonist FTY720, alloantibody production was inhibited and donor-specific IFN-γ–producing T cells were reduced to levels approaching nonsensitized tolerant recipients. Late T cell recruitment into the graft was also restrained, and graft survival improved with this combination therapy. These observations suggest that a rational strategy consisting of inhibiting memory T cell expansion and trafficking into the allograft with CTLA4-Ig and FTY720 can promote allograft survival in allosensitized recipients.
Stella H. Khiew, Jinghui Yang, James S. Young, Jianjun Chen, Qiang Wang, Dengping Yin, Vinh Vu, Michelle L. Miller, Roger Sciammas, Maria-Luisa Alegre, Anita S. Chong
Lung transplantation, a cure for a number of end-stage lung diseases, continues to have the worst long-term outcomes when compared with other solid organ transplants. Preclinical modeling of the most common and serious lung transplantation complications are essential to better understand and mitigate the pathophysiological processes that lead to these complications. Various animal and in vitro models of lung transplant complications now exist and each of these models has unique strengths. However, significant issues, such as the required technical expertise as well as the robustness and clinical usefulness of these models, remain to be overcome or clarified. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) convened a workshop in March 2016 to review the state of preclinical science addressing the three most important complications of lung transplantation: primary graft dysfunction (PGD), acute rejection (AR), and chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD). In addition, the participants of the workshop were tasked to make consensus recommendations on the best use of these complimentary models to close our knowledge gaps in PGD, AR, and CLAD. Their reviews and recommendations are summarized in this report. Furthermore, the participants outlined opportunities to collaborate and directions to accelerate research using these preclinical models.
Vibha N. Lama, John A. Belperio, Jason D. Christie, Souheil El-Chemaly, Michael C. Fishbein, Andrew E. Gelman, Wayne W. Hancock, Shaf Keshavjee, Daniel Kreisel, Victor E. Laubach, Mark R. Looney, John F. McDyer, Thalachallour Mohanakumar, Rebecca A. Shilling, Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, David S. Wilkes, Jerry P. Eu, Mark R. Nicolls
Better identification of severe acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) may improve the outcome of this life-threatening complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. GvHD induces tissue damage and the release of damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) molecules. Here, we analyzed GvHD patients (
Antoine Seignez, Anne-Laure Joly, Killian Chaumonnot, Adonis Hazoumé, Michel Sanka, Guillaume Marcion, Christophe Boudesco, Arlette Hammann, Renaud Seigneuric, Gaetan Jégo, Patrick Ducoroy, Patrice Delarue, Patrick Senet, Cristina Castilla-Llorente, Eric Solary, Marie-Agnès Durey, Marie-Thérèse Rubio, Olivier Hermine, Evelyne Kohli, Carmen Garrido
The potential of costimulation blockade to serve as a novel transplant immunosuppression strategy has been explored for over 20 years, culminating in the recent clinical approval of belatacept for renal transplant patients. Despite improving long-term graft function and survival compared with calcineurin inhibitors, clinical acceptance of belatacept has been hindered by elevated rates of acute rejection. We examined the signaling pathways required to activate costimulation blockade–resistant alloreactive T cells and identified the OX40/OX40L secondary costimulatory pathway as a promising target. We next sought to improve the clinical efficacy of traditional costimulation blockade using belatacept by coupling it with anti-OX40L. Using a murine transplant model, we demonstrate that combined blockade enhances the suppression of alloreactive T cell proliferation and effector functions including both cytokine release and cytotoxic degranulation. We also show that anti-OX40L may be particularly useful in targeting alloreactive memory T cell responses that are relatively unaffected by traditional costimulation blockade regimens. Finally, we translated this therapy to a clinically relevant nonhuman primate renal transplant model, validating the efficacy of this regimen in a potentially novel steroid- and calcineurin inhibitor–free immunosuppression regimen.
William H. Kitchens, Ying Dong, David V. Mathews, Cynthia P. Breeden, Elizabeth Strobert, Maria E. Fuentes, Christian P. Larsen, Mandy L. Ford, Andrew B. Adams
The conditioning regimen used as part of the Berlin patient’s hematopoietic cell transplant likely contributed to his eradication of HIV infection. We studied the impact of conditioning in simian-human immunodeficiency virus–infected (SHIV-infected) macaques suppressed by combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). The conditioning regimen resulted in a dramatic, but incomplete depletion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and CD20+ B cells, increased T cell activation and exhaustion, and a significant loss of SHIV-specific Abs. The disrupted T cell homeostasis and markers of microbial translocation positively correlated with an increased viral rebound after cART interruption. Quantitative viral outgrowth and Tat/rev–induced limiting dilution assays showed that the size of the latent SHIV reservoir did not correlate with viral rebound. These findings identify perturbations of the immune system as a mechanism for the failure of autologous transplantation to eradicate HIV. Thus, transplantation strategies may be improved by incorporating immune modulators to prevent disrupted homeostasis, and gene therapy to protect transplanted cells.
Christopher W. Peterson, Clarisse Benne, Patricia Polacino, Jasbir Kaur, Cristina E. McAllister, Abdelali Filali-Mouhim, Willi Obenza, Tiffany A. Pecor, Meei-Li Huang, Audrey Baldessari, Robert D. Murnane, Ann E. Woolfrey, Keith R. Jerome, Shiu-Lok Hu, Nichole R. Klatt, Stephen DeRosa, Rafick P. Sékaly, Hans-Peter Kiem
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