Antibodies targeting surface membrane antigens in patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease

Kathy S. Wang, Haesook T. Kim, Sarah Nikiforow, Alexander T. Heubeck, Vincent T. Ho, John Koreth, Edwin P. Alyea, Philippe Armand, Bruce R. Blazar, Robert J. Soiffer, Joseph H. Antin, Corey S. Cutler, Jerome Ritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant reflects a complex immune response resulting in chronic damage to multiple tissues. Previous studies indicated that donor B cells and the antibodies they produce play an important role in the development of cGVHD. To understand the pathogenic role of antibodies in cGVHD, we focused our studies on posttransplant production of immunoglobulin G antibodies targeting cell surface antigens expressed in multiple cGVHD affected tissues, due to their potential functional impact on living cells in vivo. Using plate-bound cell membrane proteins as targets, we detected a significantly higher level of antibodies reactive with these membrane antigens in patients who developed cGVHD, compared with those who did not and healthy donors. Plasma-reactive antibody levels increased significantly prior to the clinical diagnosis of cGVHD and were reduced following cGVHD therapies including prednisone, interleukin-2, or extracorporeal photophoresis. Using cell-based immunoprecipitation with plasma from cGVHD patients and mass spectrometry, we identified 43 membrane proteins targeted by these antibodies. The presence of antibodies in cGVHD patients' plasma that specifically target 6 of these proteins was validated. Antibodies reactive with these 6 antigens were more frequently detected in patients with cGVHD compared with patients without cGVHD and healthy donors. These results indicate that antibodies that target membrane antigens of living cells frequently develop in cGVHD patients and further support a role for Bcells and antibodies in the development of cGVHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2889-2899
Number of pages11
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 28 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute grants P01CA142106, CA183559, and CA183560.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by The American Society of Hematology.


Dive into the research topics of 'Antibodies targeting surface membrane antigens in patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this