Autophagy Gene Atg16L1 Prevents Lethal T Cell Alloreactivity Mediated By Dendritic Cells Academic Article uri icon


  • Atg16L1 mediates the cellular degradative process of autophagy and is considered a critical regulator of inflammation based on its genetic association with inflammatory bowel disease. Here we find that Atg16L1 deficiency leads to an exacerbated graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in a mouse model of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Atg16L1-deficient allo-HSCT recipients with GVHD displayed increased T cell proliferation due to increased dendritic cell (DC) numbers and costimulatory molecule expression. Reduced autophagy within DCs was associated with lysosomal abnormalities and decreased amounts of A20, a negative regulator of DC activation. These results broaden the function of Atg16L1 and the autophagy pathway to include a role in limiting a DC-mediated response during inflammatory disease, such as GVHD.

publication date

  • 2014-10-01