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Blood. 2005 Jun 1;105(11):4191-9. Epub 2005 Feb 8.

Leukocyte migration and graft-versus-host disease.

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Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7295, USA.


Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a significant complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT). Acute GVHD is mediated by immunocompetent donor T cells, which migrate to lymphoid tissues soon after infusion, recognize host alloantigens, and become activated upon interaction with host antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Recent work from our group and others suggests that activated effector T cells exit lymphoid tissues and traffic to mucosal sites and parenchymal target organs such as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, liver, lung, and skin where they cause tissue damage. The molecular interactions necessary for effector cell migration during GVHD have become the focus of a growing body of research, as these interactions represent potential therapeutic targets. In this review we discuss chemokine and chemokine receptor interactions and adhesion molecules that have been shown to play roles in effector cell migration in experimental GVHD models, and we discuss a potential model for the role of chemokines during the activation phase of GVHD.

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