Lethal graft-vs-host disease across major histocompatibility barriers: Requirement for leucyl-leucine methyl ester sensitive cytotoxic T cells

Dwain L Thiele, M. R. Charley, J. A. Calomeni, P. E. Lipsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

L-leucyl-L-leucine methyl ester (Leu-Leu-OMe) is selectively toxic for human natural killer (NK) cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) at both the precursor and effector stage of differentiation. The present studies explored the effect of Leu-Leu-OMe on murine spleen cell function. Leu-Leu-OMe exposure removed NK function from murine spleen cells but spared their capacity to proliferate in response to lipopolysaccharide and Con A. the capacity to generate CTL from both L3T4 (+) and Lyt-2 (+) precursors was lost after Leu-Leu-OMe treatment, whereas alloantigen-induced proliferation and interleukin 2 (IL 2) production by L3T4 (+) T helper cells remained intact. Lethal graft vs host disease (GVHD), which developed in irradiated (C57BL/6 x DBA/2)F1 recipients of C57BL/6 bone marrow and spleen cells was completely prevented by Leu-Leu-OMe treatment of donor cells. In contrast depletion of Lyt-2 positive cells from the donor inoculum did not prevent acute GVHD in this fully major histocompatibility complex (MHC) incompatible strain combination. However, Leu-Leu-OMe treatment of the Lyt-2 depleted inoculum completely prevented lethal GVHD, although the treated cells retained the capacity to proliferate and secrete IL 2 normally after in vitro stimulation with (C57BL/6 x DFA/2)F1 spleen cells. These findings indicate that L3T4 (+) T helper cells alone are unable to initiate lethal GVHD in this H-2 incompatible strain combination. Rather, lethal GVHD requires the transfer of a Leu-Leu-OMe sensitive T cell subset, likely to be thymus educated pre-CTL. Leu-Leu-OMe treatment should provide a useful way to delineate subpopulations of cells involved in the production of lethal GVHD and an approach to preventing this complication of bone marrow transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume138
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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