Administration of cyclosporine A (CsA) after autologous stem cell transplantation elicits an autoimmune syndrome with pathology similar to graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). This syndrome, termed autologous GVHD, is associated with the appearance of autoreactive T cells directed at major histocompatibility class (MHC) class II antigens. In the rat model of autologous GVHD, clonal analysis reveals that the effector T cells are highly conserved and recognize a peptide from the invariant chain peptide presented by MHC class II. Although human autologous GVHD effector T cells share a similar phenotypic specificity, clonality of the response in humans has not been determined. To examine the human effector T-cell response, the T-cell repertoire of peripheral blood lymphocytes was assessed by complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) size distribution analysis and T-cell clonotype analysis in 26 patients treated with CsA after transplantation. Autologous GVHD developed in 3 of 4 patients with human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DRB1*0701, and clonal expansions of β-chain variable region (BV)16+ T cells were shared. Clonal expansions within BV15+ and BV22+ T cells were also detected in 4 of 6 patients with HLA-DRB1*1501 and in 3 of 4 patients with HLA-DRB1*0401, respectively. Sequencing of BV16 cDNA for which the CDR3 size pattern exhibited apparent clone predominance revealed an identical CDR3 peptide sequence in 2 different patients, one with HLA-DRB1*0701 and the other with HLA-DRB1*1502. These findings indicate that the discrete antigen-driven expansion of T cells is involved in autologous GVHD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology