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Transplantation. 2011 May 15;91(9):946-51. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e318212c833.

The involvement of epithelial Fas in a human model of graft versus host disease.

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1
IMED AB, 171 65 Solna, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is an important complication occurring after hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). Animal model studies have shown the involvement of the Fas (APO-1/CD95)/Fas-Ligand pathway in GVHD pathogenesis, but its association with cutaneous GVHD in human remains to be established.

METHODS:

In the present study, Fas involvement in skin damage was assessed using a human skin explant model of GVHD. Fas and FasL expression were measured by immunohistochemistry and blockade of Fas pathway was investigated using an antagonistic anti-human Fas monoclonal antibody. In addition, levels of soluble Fas (sFas) were determined in the serum of patients receiving allogeneic HSCT with and without GVHD.

RESULTS:

The results showed that Fas up-regulation in the epithelium of human skin explants correlated with graft-versus-host reaction (GVHR) in the skin explant model (P<0.001). Decreased GVHR grades were observed by using a Fas blocking monoclonal antibody. Levels of sFas were increased post-HSCT (P<0.001) but rather than being associated with the severity of GVHD, sFas levels differed with the conditioning treatments the patients received before the HSCT.

CONCLUSIONS:

Higher GVHR grades were associated with increased Fas expression in the epithelium of the skin explants. In addition, by blocking Fas-mediated apoptosis, the GVHR grades were decreased. Our study thus shows the involvement of Fas in cutaneous GVHD damage, and supports the potential use of Fas as a therapeutic target.

PMID:
21403589
DOI:
10.1097/TP.0b013e318212c833
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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