Definitive separation of graft-versus-leukemia- and graft-versus-host-specific CD4+ T cells by virtue of their receptor β loci sequences

J. Michalek, R. H. Collins, H. P. Durrani, P. Václavková, L. E. Ruff, D. C. Douek, E. S. Vitetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although graft-versus-host (GVH) disease (GVHD) is usually associated with graft versus leukemia (GVL), GVL can occur in the absence of clinical GVHD. There is evidence to suggest that GVL and GVH are mediated by different clones of T cells. The objective of this study was to identify the two types of T cells based on their receptor sequences. To this end we used irradiated nonleukemic cells from recipients as stimulator cells in a primary mixed leukocyte reaction (MLR). The activated CD4+ donor T cells that expressed CD25 were purified by cell sorting. To prepare GVL-specific T cells, alloreactive T cells in the primary MLR were first depleted with an anti-CD25 immunotoxin. The remaining T cells had negligible alloreactivity in a secondary MLR. The allodepleted cells were then stimulated by using purified leukemia cells from the same individual as stimulator cells, and the CD25+-activated cells were purified by cell sorting. The GVL- and GVH-specific T cells were analyzed for their T cell receptor (TCR) clonality by using anchored RT-PCR of all the TCRβ locus complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) sequences. By comparing TCRβ CDR3 sequences from transformed bacterial colonies, we were able to demonstrate that T cells mediating GVH were different from those mediating GVL in each of the eight HLA-mismatched and one HLA-matched donor/ recipient pairs. By using the appropriate TCRβ CDR3-specific primers and probes, the GVH- and GVL-specific clones were monitored in a recipient undergoing an allogeneic stem cell transplant from her HLA-matched related donor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1180-1184
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume100
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 4 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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