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Surgery. 1993 Aug;114(2):218-25; discussion 226.

Adoptive transfer of cytotoxic T lymphocytes for the treatment of transplant-associated lymphoma.

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Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710.



Immunocompromised organ transplant recipients have a high incidence of B cell lymphomas (BCL). Severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice develop human BCL when engrafted with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) transformed and immortalized B lymphoblastoid cell lines (BLCL). Because a lack of effective EBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (EBV-CTL) is thought to lead to lymphoma development, the SCID mouse model was used to determine the relationship between EBV-infected B cells and EBV-specific CTL in BCL development in vivo.


EBV-CTL were generated by in vitro stimulation of peripheral blood leukocytes with autologous BLCL. CD8+ CTL were isolated from CTL populations by depletion of CD4+ cells. SCID mice were engrafted with BLCL, EBV-CTL were adoptively transferred into engrafted SCID mice either immediately or 7 days after engraftment, and the animals were monitored for the development of BCL. Statistical significance was determined by the log rank test.


SCID mice engrafted with BLCL rapidly developed BCL (mean, 20 days). SCID mice engrafted with BLCL and human leukocyte antigen-identical EBV-CTL or CD8+ EBV-CTL had a significant delay in BCL development (p < 0.05), whereas some mice did not develop BCL. In contrast, human leukocyte antigen-nonidentical EBV-CTL did not significantly delay BCL development.


This study showed the role of EBV-CTL in inhibiting the development of BCL. A greater understanding of the cellular and viral interactions leading to B-cell transformation and malignancy may allow the development of specific interventional therapies in patients who have received immunosuppressants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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