Abstract 1342

Poster Board I-364

Chronic graft versus host disease (GVHD) is an autoimmune-like disease, in which both donor CD4+ T and B cells play important roles in the pathogenesis. However, it is unclear how donor CD4+ T and B cells interact in the context of chronic GVHD. In our current studies, we found that, in a new chronic GVHD model of MHC-matched DBA/2 donor to BALB/c host, depletion of donor CD4+ T cells in transplants prevented donor B220+ B cell upregulation of co-stimulatory molecules (i.e. B7.1, B7.2, and MHC II), prevented donor B cell differentiation into syndecan+ IgG anti-dsDNA autoantibody-producing plasma cells, and prevented the induction of chronic GVHD. In addition, we found that donor CD4+ T cells were able to drive both marginal zone B (AA4.1B220+CD1dhiCD23lo) and follicular B (AA4.1B220+CD23hiCD1dlo) cells to become IgG autoantibody-producing cells. On the other hand, depletion of donor B220+ B cells in transplants prevented expansion of donor-type CD4+ T cells that proliferated in response to donor DC stimulation, prevented the skewing of TCR CDR3-length of the donor CD4+ T cells as revealed by TCR spectratyping, and prevented induction of chronic GVHD. These results indicate that donor CD4+ T and B cells mutually activate each other in the chronic GVHD recipients; alloreactive donor CD4+ T cells activate and drive donor B cell differentiation into IgG autoantibody producing cells, in turn, donor B cells mediate the expansion and TCR-spreading of autoreactive donor CD4+ T cells. Therefore, donor CD4+ T and B cells in transplants orchestrate the development of chronic GVHD. This work is supported by NIH R01 AI066008.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.