FTY720 Markedly Increases Alloengraftment but Does Not Eliminate Host Anti-Donor T Cells that Cause Graft Rejection on Its Withdrawal

Patricia A. Taylor, Ryan M. Kelly, Nick D. Bade, Michelle J. Smith, Heather E. Stefanski, Bruce R. Blazar

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14 Scopus citations


The immunomodulator FTY720 (FTY) is beneficial in models of graft-versus-host disease, solid organ transplantation, and autoimmunity and has been approved for use in patients with multiple sclerosis. FTY modifies the homing and migration of many cell types. We report that FTY has profound positive and negative effects on allogeneic bone marrow (BM) engraftment in sublethally irradiated recipients. FTY increased donor hematopoietic progenitors in the BM, resulting in high donor engraftment in the B cell, myeloid cell, and natural killer cell, but not T cell, lineages. Donor T cell progenitors within the thymus of FTY-treated recipients were dramatically reduced, resulting in a lack of donor T cell reconstitution. In addition to preventing the ingress of donor (and host) T cell progenitors, FTY prevented the egress of fully functional host CD4+CD8- and CD4-CD8+ thymocytes that on cessation of FTY administration were able to exit from the thymus and contribute to a rapid and complete rejection of a well-established donor BM graft. When used in combination with anti-CD40L mAbs to block the CD40L:CD40 costimulatory pathway, FTY markedly enhanced anti-CD40L mAb-mediated alloengraftment promotion. In contrast to FTY alone, the combination of anti-CD40L mAb and FTY resulted in a surprisingly stable, multilineage, long-term donor chimerism. These data illustrate FTY's profound migration modulating effects and suggest a use in combinatorial therapy in achieving stable alloengraftment under nonmyeloablative conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1341-1352
Number of pages12
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial disclosure: This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grant R01 HL63452 (to Bruce R. Blazar). The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


  • Animal model
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Thymopoiesis


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