Donor lymphocyte infusions (DLI) provide effective therapy for patients with multiple myeloma who have relapsed after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. However, the immunological mechanisms of the graft-versus-myeloma (GVM) effect have not been defined, and the target antigens of this response have not been identified. Molecular analysis of CDR3 Vβ repertoire after CD4+ DLI demonstrated previously that the development of GVM and graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) were associated with the clonal expansion of distinct T-cell populations in patient peripheral blood. In the current study, we undertook a molecular and functional characterization of GVM- and GVHD-associated T-cell clones. T-cell clones associated with GVM were detectable by clone-specific PCR at a low level in peripheral blood before DLI and expanded ∼10-fold after DLI. In contrast, T-cell clones associated with GVHD were not detectable before DLI or before the development of clinical GVHD. Two T-cell clones associated with GVM were isolated and expanded in vitro, allowing their phenotypic and functional characterization. Both GVM clones were derived from donor cells and had a CD3+CD8+CD4- phenotype. One GVM clone specifically recognized patient myeloma cells in an HLA class I-restricted manner, but was not reactive with patient normal bone marrow cells or patient EBV transformed B cells. Taken together, these findings suggest that the GVM response is mediated by donor-derived CD8+ T-cell clones with antimyeloma specificity that may be present before DLI. In contrast, T-cell clones associated with GVHD are expanded de novo after DLI.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - May 15 2003|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research