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Blood. 1998 Dec 1;92(11):4472-8.

Recombinant CD40L treatment protects allogeneic murine bone marrow transplant recipients from death caused by herpes simplex virus-1 infection.

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Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Posttransplant infection associated with host immune deficiency is the major cause of nonrelapse mortality of human bone marrow transplant recipients. In a new murine model of posttransplant infection, allogeneic bone marrow transplant recipients were infected with herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) via intraperitoneal inoculation 12 weeks after transplantation. Allogeneic transplant recipients with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) had significantly increased mortality from HSV-1 encephalitis, with deficiencies of both specific anti-HSV-1 antibody and total serum IgG2a. GVHD mice displayed a Th2 cytokine profile (increased interleukin-4 [IL-4] and decreased interferon-gamma) and decreased lipopolysaccharide (LPS) responses, suggesting that both T-cell and B-cell defects contributed to the impaired production of antibody. Because passive transfer of hyperimmune serum protected mice from HSV-1 infection, we hypothesized that CD40 ligand (CD40L), which induces B-cell maturation, would protect mice from HSV-1 infection. CD40L-treated GVHD mice showed elevated IgG2a levels and increased survival compared with vehicle-treated transplant recipients.

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