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Blood. 2011 Apr 7;117(14):3921-8. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-10-311894. Epub 2011 Feb 3.

Tregs prevent GVHD and promote immune reconstitution in HLA-haploidentical transplantation.

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Hematology and Clinical Immunology Section, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Perugia, Italy.


Hastening posttransplantation immune reconstitution is a key challenge in human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-haploidentical hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). In experimental models of mismatched HSCT, T-regulatory cells (Tregs) when co-infused with conventional T cells (Tcons) favored posttransplantation immune reconstitution and prevented lethal graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In the present study, we evaluated the impact of early infusion of Tregs, followed by Tcons, on GVHD prevention and immunologic reconstitution in 28 patients with high-risk hematologic malignancies who underwent HLA-haploidentical HSCT. We show for the first time in humans that adoptive transfer of Tregs prevented GVHD in the absence of any posttransplantation immunosuppression, promoted lymphoid reconstitution, improved immunity to opportunistic pathogens, and did not weaken the graft-versus-leukemia effect. This study provides evidence that Tregs are a conserved mechanism in humans.

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