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Blood. 2011 Sep 29;118(13):e82-92. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-05-352708. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

Human regulatory T cells in allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

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Department of Hematology, Hemostasis, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.


GVHD is still one of the major complications after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Whereas murine data have clearly shown the beneficial effects of regulatory T cells (Tregs) on the prevention of GVHD, data from the human system are rare. Here, we present a comparative dynamic analysis of CD4(+)CD25(hi)CD127(lo/-) Tregs from patients with and without GVHD analyzing the whole genome profile over the first 6 months after stem cell transplantation, representing the most sensitive time window for tolerance induction. The Treg transcriptome showed a high stability. However, the comparison of Treg transcriptomes from patients with and without GVHD uncovered regulated gene transcripts highly relevant for Treg cell function. The confirmative protein analyses demonstrated a significantly higher expression of granzyme A, CXCR3, and CCR5 in Tregs of immune tolerant patients. These results point to a reduced suppressive function of Tregs from GVHD patients with diminished migration capacity to the target organs.

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