Origin and subset distribution of peripheral blood dendritic cells in patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease.
Clark FJ., Freeman L., Dzionek A., Schmitz J., McMullan D., Simpson P., Mason J., Mahendra P., Craddock C., Griffiths M., Moss PA., Chakraverty R.
BACKGROUND: After allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, donor T cells interact with an antigen-presenting cell environment that is distorted in number, level of activation, and origin. The role of antigen presentation in the development of chronic graft-versus host disease (cGVHD) is unknown. METHODS: The number and origin of peripheral blood immature myeloid (CD19- CD1c+) and plasmacytoid (BDCA-2+) dendritic cells (DCs) was determined in 30 patients at more than 100 days after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. RESULTS: Patients with cGVHD had significantly higher plasmacytoid DC numbers than individuals without this complication (9.1+/-2.0 x 10(6)/L versus 3.8+/-0.6 x 10(6)/L, =0.025). Chimerism studies demonstrated that DCs in patients with cGVHD were exclusively of donor origin, whereas persistence of host DCs was observed in some control patients. CONCLUSIONS: The antigen-presenting cell environment in patients with cGVHD, as represented by immature blood DCs, is of donor origin but distorted in terms of subset distribution.