Send to

Choose Destination
J Exp Med. 2001 Nov 19;194(10):1433-40.

Interleukin-18 regulates acute graft-versus-host disease by enhancing Fas-mediated donor T cell apoptosis.

Author information

Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Michigan Cancer Center, 1500 E. Medical Center Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Interleukin (IL)-18 is a recently discovered cytokine that modulates both T helper type 1 (Th1) and Th2 responses. IL-18 is elevated during acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). We investigated the role of IL-18 in this disorder using a well characterized murine bone marrow transplantation (BMT) model (B6 --> B6D2F1). Surprisingly, blockade of IL-18 accelerated acute GVHD-related mortality. In contrast, administration of IL-18 reduced serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels, decreased intestinal histopathology, and resulted in significantly improved survival (75 vs. 15%, P < 0.001). Administration of IL-18 attenuated early donor T cell expansion and was associated with increased Fas expression and greater apoptosis of donor T cells. The administration of IL-18 no longer protected BMT recipients from GVHD when Fas deficient (lpr) mice were used as donors. IL-18 also lost its ability to protect against acute GVHD when interferon (IFN)-gamma knockout mice were used as donors. Together, these results demonstrate that IL-18 regulates acute GVHD by inducing enhanced Fas-mediated apoptosis of donor T cells early after BMT, and donor IFN-gamma is critical for this protective effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center