Nonmitogenic anti-CD3F(ab')2 fragments inhibit lethal murine graft- versus-host disease induced across the major histocompatibility barrier

Bruce R Blazar, P. A. Taylor, D. C. Snover, J. A. Bluestone, Daniel A Vallera

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51 Scopus citations


We have investigated the in vivo administration of nonmitogenic anti- CD3F(ab')2 fragments for the prevention of lethal graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) in irradiated recipients of fully allogeneic bone marrow cells plus splenocyte (BMS) inocula. Recipients of anti-CD3F(ab')2 fragments administered for 1 mo post-bone marrow transplantation (BMT) had 100% survival without clinical or histopathological evidence of GVHD. Controls given saline injections succumbed by 39 days post-BMT. Similar results were obtained in groups of recipient mice given BMS in which T cells were depleted by in vitro anti-Thy-1.2 plus C' treatment. Further studies were undertaken to define mechanistic differences in the two approaches. Using Ly-5 congenic sources of donor bone marrow and spleen, we determined that anti-CD3F(ab')2 fragments induced TCR modulation and T cell depletion. Mature splenic- derived CD4+ cells were depleted to a greater extent than CD8+ cells. Early post-BMT, recipients receiving injections with control saline had the highest number of CD4+ and CD8+ cells (which may cause GVHD) followed by recipients of anti-CD3F(ab')2 fragments, with the fewest CD8+ cells observed in the anti-Thy-1.2 + C' treated group. CD3+CD4-CD8- cells (which may suppress GVHD generation) were present in higher numbers early post-BMT in recipients given anti-CD3F(ab')2 fragments as compared to recipients given anti-Thy- 1.2 + C'-treated BMS. In long term survivors, a mononuclear T cell containing infiltrate without evidence of destruction was observed in sites of GVHD (lung and liver), consistent with a 'Quilty' effect, which was not observed in either of the other two groups. Although survivors were tolerant of donor skin grafts and rejected third party grafts, recipients given anti- CD3F(ab')2 fragments but not anti-Thy-1.2 + C'-treated BMS had vigorous anti-host proliferative responses. These results demonstrate that although in vitro anti-Thy-1.2 + C' treatment of BMS (which is highly depletionary) and in vivo administration of anti-CD3F(ab')2 fragments (which is modulatory and less depletionary) are both effective strategies for GVHD, the cellular events involved in achieving GVHD prevention are indeed different.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-277
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993


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