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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2006 Mar;12(3):335-45.

Longitudinal analysis of T-cell receptor variable beta chain repertoire in patients with acute graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

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The Division of Cellular Therapy, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


T-cell receptor variable beta chain (TCRBV) repertoire spectratyping involves the estimation of CDR3 length distributions for monitoring T-cell receptor diversity and has proven useful for analyses of immune reconstitution and T-cell clonal expansions in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and graft-versus-leukemia after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. We performed a longitudinal spectratype analysis of 23 TCRBV families in 28 patients who underwent allogeneic T cell-depleted peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. Sixteen patients subsequently developed acute GVHD. We recently developed statistical methods that bring increased power and flexibility to spectratype analysis and allow us to analyze TCRBV repertoire development under appropriately complex statistical models. Applying these methods, we found that patients with acute GVHD demonstrated TCRBV repertoire development statistically distinct from that repertoire development in patients without GVHD. Specifically, GVHD patients showed spectratypes indicative of lower diversity and greater deviation from the spectratypes expected in healthy individuals at intermediate times. Most individual TCRBV subfamilies had spectratypes statistically distinguishable between GVHD and non-GVHD patients at 6 months after transplantation. These results suggest that the T-cell receptor repertoire perturbations associated with acute GVHD are widely spread throughout the TCRBV families.

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