Immune Regulatory Cell Biology and Clinical Applications to Prevent or Treat Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease

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2 Scopus citations


The most common approaches to prevent and treat graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) are intended to deplete or suppress the T cells capable of mediating or supporting alloresponses; however, this renders the recipients functionally T cell deficient and hence highly susceptible to infections and tumor recurrence. Depletion is often accomplished through the use of broadly reactive antibodies, while functional impairment is typically achieved by pharmacological agents that require long-term administration (usually six months or more), have significant side effects, and may not result in tolerance (i.e., non-responsiveness) of donor T cells to conditioning regimen-resistant host alloantigen-bearing cells. As our knowledge of immune system homeostasis has increased, cell populations with immune regulatory function have been identified and characterized. Although such cell populations are typically present in low frequencies, methods to isolate and expand these cells have permitted their supplementation to the donor graft or infusion late post-transplant in order to stifle GVHD. This review discusses the biology and preclinical proof of concept of GVHD models, along with GVHD outcomes that focus exclusively on immune regulatory cell therapies that have progressed to clinical testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-105
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • Cell therapy
  • Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)
  • Immune regulatory cells


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