Murine models of bone marrow transplantation were used to study the mechanisms governing the activation of donor lymphocyte infusions (DLIs) manifesting as lymphohematopoietic graft-versus-host (LH-GVH) and graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) reactivities. We demonstrate here that established mixed chimerism influences the potency of DLI-mediated alloreactivity only in the MHC-mismatched but not MHC-matched setting. In the MHC-matched setting, high levels (≥ 40%) of residual host chimerism correlated negatively with DLI-mediated alloreactivity irrespective of the timing of their administration, the donor's previous sensitization to host antigens, or the level of residual host APCs. In vivo administration of Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands was required to maximize DLI-mediated LH-GVH and GVL reactivities in chimeras with low levels (≤ 15%) of residual host chimerism. In contrast, coadministration of DLI with antigen-presenting cell (APC) activators was insufficient to augment their LH-GVH response in the presence of high levels of host chimerism unless the host's T cells were transiently depleted. Together, these results show the cardinal influence of donor-host incompatibility on DLI-mediated GVH responses and suggest that in MHC-matched chimeras, the induction of optimal alloreactivity requires not only donor T cells and host APCs but also TLR ligands and in the presence of high levels of host chimerism depletion of host T cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology