The pathophysiology of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains poorly understood in humans. Although T cell subsets have been identified to play a major role in disease initiation in rodents, clinical data on the effect of these different subsets are scarce and conflicting. To address this question, immunophenotyping analyses were performed on the graft in 210 patients. The onset of acute GVHD was retrospectively correlated with these subpopulations. In an adjusted analysis, only the absolute count of CD45lo/CD62Llo CD8+ T cells (effector memory T cells) was significantly associated with the onset of grade 2 to 4 acute GVHD. Thus, in contrast to experimental data, we found that the number of effector memory but not of naïve T cells was associated with the onset of GVHD. These results should be kept in mind while clinical trials, which aim to deplete naïve T cells, are underway in several institutions.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.
- Acute graft-versus-host disease
- Memory T cell
- Naïve T cell
- Stem cell transplantation