A Crucial Role for Host Apcs in the Induction of Donor Cd4(+) Cd25(+) Regulatory T Cell-Mediated Suppression of Experimental Graft-Versus-Host Disease Academic Article uri icon


  • Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation is an effective treatment for a number of malignant and nonmalignant diseases (Applebaum. 2001. Nature. 411: 385-389 and Copelan. 2006. N Engl J Med. 354: 1813-1826). However, the application of this therapeutic modality has been impeded by a number of confounding side effects, the most frequent and severe of which is the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (Copelan. 2006. N Engl J Med. 354: 1813-1826 and Blazar and Murphy. 2005. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 360: 1747-1767). Alloreactive donor T cells are critical for causing GVHD (Fowler. 2006. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 57: 225-244 and Ferrara and Reddy. 2006. Semin Hematol. 43: 3-10), whereas recent data demonstrated a significant role for the naturally occurring thymic-derived donor CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) (Bluestone and Abbas. 2003. Nat Rev Immunol. 3: 253-257 and Shevach. 2006. Immunity. 25: 195-201) in suppressing experimental GVHD after bone marrow transplantation (Blazar and Taylor. 2005. Biol Blood Marrow Transpl. 11: 46-49 and Joffe and van Meerwijk. 2006. Semin Immunol. 18: 128-135) . Host APCs are required for induction of GVHD by the conventional donor T cells. However, it is not known whether they are also obligatory for donor Treg-mediated suppression of GVHD. Using multiple clinically relevant MHC-matched and -mismatched murine models of GVHD, we investigated the role of host APCs in the suppression of GVHD by donor Tregs. We found that alloantigen expression by the host APCs is necessary and sufficient for induction of GVHD protection by donor Tregs. This requirement was independent of their effect on the maintenance of Treg numbers and the production of IL-10 or IDO by the host APCs.

publication date

  • 2010-10-01