Distinct Regulatory and Effector T Cell Metabolic Demands during Graft-Versus-Host Disease

Keli L. Hippen, Ethan G. Aguilar, Stephanie Y. Rhee, Sara Bolivar-Wagers, Bruce R. Blazar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Despite graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylactic agents, the success and wider utilization of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is limited by GVHD. Increasing donor graft regulatory T cell (Treg):effector T cell (Teff) ratios can substantially reduce GVHD in cancer patients, but pre-HSCT conditioning regimens and GVHD create a challenging inflammatory environment for Treg stability, persistence, and function. Metabolism plays a crucial role in T cell and Treg differentiation, and development of effector function. Although glycolysis is a main driver of allogeneic T cell-driven GVHD, oxidative phosphorylation is a main driver of Treg suppressor function. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of Treg metabolism in the context of GVHD, and discusses potential therapeutic applications of Tregs in the prevention or treatment of GVHD in cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-91
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020



  • Foxp3
  • GVHD
  • Treg
  • glycolysis
  • microbiota

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review

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