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J Immunol. 2010 Aug 1;185(3):1912-9. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0903148. Epub 2010 Jul 9.

Absence of P-selectin in recipients of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation ameliorates experimental graft-versus-host disease.

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Department of Medicine and Immunology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA.


Alloreactive T cells are crucial for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) pathophysiology, and modulating their trafficking patterns has been efficacious in ameliorating experimental disease. We report in this paper that P-selectin, a glycoprotein found on resting and inflamed endothelium, is important for donor alloreactive T cells trafficking into GVHD target organs, such as the intestines and skin. Compared with wild-type (WT) recipients of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, P-selectin(-/-) recipients exhibit decreased GVHD mortality and decreased GVHD of the skin, liver, and small bowels. This was associated with diminished infiltration of alloactivated T cells into the Peyer's patches and small bowels, coupled with increased numbers of donor T cells in the spleen and secondary lymphoid organs (SLOs). Surprisingly, however, donor T cells deficient for P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1, the most well described P-selectin ligand, mediated GVHD similar to WT T cells and accumulated in SLO and target organs in similar numbers as WT T cells. This suggests that P-selectin may be required for trafficking into inflamed tissues but not SLO and that donor T cells may use multiple P-selectin ligands apart from P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 to interact with P-selectin and traffic into inflamed tissues during GVHD. We conclude that targeting P-selectin may be a viable strategy for GVHD prophylaxis or treatment.

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