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Blood. 2009 Mar 5;113(10):2312-23. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-04-153825. Epub 2008 Dec 12.

Myeloid leukemic progenitor cells can be specifically targeted by minor histocompatibility antigen LRH-1-reactive cytotoxic T cells.

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  • 1Central Hematology Laboratory, Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen.

Abstract

CD8(+) T cells recognizing minor histocompatibility antigens (MiHAs) on leukemic stem and progenitor cells play a pivotal role in effective graft-versus-leukemia reactivity after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). Previously, we identified a hematopoiesis-restricted MiHA, designated LRH-1, which is presented by HLA-B7 and encoded by the P2X5 purinergic receptor gene. We found that P2X5 is significantly expressed in CD34(+) leukemic subpopulations from chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. Here, we demonstrate that LRH-1-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses are frequently induced in myeloid leukemia patients following donor lymphocyte infusions. Patients with high percentages of circulating LRH-1-specific CD8(+) T cells had no or only mild graft-versus-host disease. Functional analysis showed that LRH-1-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) isolated from 2 different patients efficiently target LRH-1-positive leukemic CD34(+) progenitor cells from both CML and AML patients, whereas mature CML cells are only marginally lysed due to down-regulation of P2X5. Furthermore, we observed that relative resistance to LRH-1 CTL-mediated cell death due to elevated levels of antiapoptotic XIAP could be overcome by IFN-gamma prestimulation and increased CTL-target ratios. These findings provide a rationale for use of LRH-1 as immunotherapeutic target antigen to treat residual or persisting myeloid malignancies after allogeneic SCT.

PMID:
19074734
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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