The role of antigen-presenting cells in triggering graft-versus-host disease and graft-versus-leukemia.
Chakraverty R., Sykes M.
After allogeneic blood or bone marrow transplantation, donor T cells interact with a distorted antigen-presenting cell (APC) environment in which some, but not all, host APCs are replaced by APCs from the donor. Significantly, host APCs are required for the priming of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Donor APCs play a lesser role in the induction of acute GVHD despite their predicted capacity to cross-present host antigens. In contrast, donor APCs may play a role in perpetuating the tissue injury observed in chronic GVHD. Host APCs are also required for maximal graft-versus-leukemia responses. Recent studies have suggested potential strategies by which the continued presence of host APCs can be exploited to prime strong donor immunity to tumors without the induction of GVHD.