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J Immunol. 2001 May 15;166(10):5991-9.

Early intestinal Th1 inflammation and mucosal T cell recruitment during acute graft-versus-host reaction.

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Intestinal Disease Research Program and Department of Pathology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Little is understood about the earliest cytokine responses and the role(s) of donor CD4 T cells in the intestine during the induced graft-vs-host reaction (GVHR). We investigated the activation and mucosal homing phenotype of the donor CD4 cells and the kinetics of cytokine responses within the intestine and associated lymphoid tissues during early GVHR. Significant frequencies of donor CD4 cells accumulated within recipient Peyer's patches (PP), mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN), lamina propria (LP), and spleen (SP), during the first 9 days of GVHR. Many donor CD4 cells in SP, MLN, and LP expressed CD44 and also expressed de novo the mucosal homing integrin alpha(4)beta(7) (LPAM-1). A large IFN-gamma response occurred by day 3 in cells from PP and MLN, but much later (day 9) in SP and LP cells. IL-10 production by SP and MLN cells was elevated initially but declined substantially by day 9. IL-4 production by SP, MLN, and PP cells was low on day 3 and showed gradual decline in LP by day 9. IL-5 production by LP cells gradually increased in direct contrast to IL-5 production by MLN cells. The MLN CD4 cells showed the most dynamic changes, with high numbers of activated/effector donor CD4 cells and altered cytokine production consistent with a developing Th1 response. The IFN-gamma responses in PP and MLN preceded that of the SP, suggesting an intestinal origin for some Th1 effector cells in GVHR. Donor CD4 T cells apparently acquire the ability to home to the LP during early GVHR.

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