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1907 Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Attenuate Graft-Versus-Host Disease and Maintain Graft-Versus-Leukemia in Murine Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplantation

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 702. Experimental Transplantation - Immune Function, GVHD and Graft-versus-Tumor Effects: Posters I
Saturday, December 10, 2011, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM
Hall GH (San Diego Convention Center)

Jeffery J Auletta, MD1,2,3, Saada Eid, BS1*, Matthew Keller, BS1*, Leland Metheny, MD4*, Rocio Guardia-Wolff, BS1*, Zhenghong Lee, PhD5,6*, Luis A Solchaga, PhD7* and Kenneth R. Cooke, MD1,2,3

1Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
2Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Cleveland, OH
3National Center for Regenerative Medicine, Cleveland, OH
4Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
5Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland , OH
6National Center for Regenerative Medicine, Cleveland , OH
7Research & Development, Biomimetic Therapeutics, Franklin, TN

Defining in vivo effects and biodistribution of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (hMSCs) following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (alloBMT) could impact the clinical utility of MSC therapy for the prevention and treatment of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). Using an established model of murine alloBMT, we defined hMSC effects on GvHD and graft-versus-leukemia (GvL) activity. We first studied whether hMSC could modulate in vitro murine T-cell (TC) alloreactivity in mixed leukocyte cultures (MLCs). Specifically, hMSCs added to MLCs significantly reduced TC proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner distinct from human fibroblasts. In contrast to MLC cultures alone, MLCs containing hMSCs had significant reduction in TNFα, IFNγ, and IL-10 levels and higher levels of PGE2 and TGFβ1. Modulation in the inflammatory milieu was associated with changes in TC phenotypes, including more naïve and less activated TC surface marker expression (CD62L+CD69-) and the induction of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ T-regulatory cells. To determine whether hMSCs could modulate in vivo mTC alloreactivity, irradiated recipient B6D2F1 (H-2bxd) mice were transplanted with allogeneic C57BL/6 (H-2b) BM and purified splenic TCs (B6→B6D2F1) and then were tail-vein injected with hMSC infusions (1 million per injection) on days one and four post-transplant. Syngeneic transplant recipients (B6D2F1→B6D2F1) were used as controls. hMSC-treated alloBMT mice had significantly prolonged survival and improved clinical GvHD scores, reduced splenic TC expansion and TNFα and IFNγ-producing TCs, and lower circulating TNFα and IFNγ levels versus untreated alloBMT mice. Bioluminescence imaging showed redistribution of labeled hMSCs from the lungs to abdominal organs within 72 hours following infusion. Importantly, GvHD target tissues (small and large bowel and liver) harvested from hMSC-treated alloBMT mice had significantly lower GvHD pathology scores than untreated alloBMT mice. We next determined the effects of hMSCs on GvL activity using the murine mastocytoma cell line, P815 (H-2d). TCs co-cultured with hMSCs maintained potent in vitro cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) activity comparable to untreated control CTLs. After challenge with P815 tumor cells, hMSCs-treated alloBMT mice had less severe GvHD, eradication of tumor burden, and improved leukemia-free survival compared to alloBMT control mice. Lastly, indomethacin (IM) added to MLC-hMSC co-cultures significantly reversed attenuation in both murine TC alloreactivity and surface activation expression. In addition, IM administered to hMSC-treated alloBMT mice reversed hMSC-associated survival advantage, suggesting that PGE2 in part mediates hMSC immunomodulatory effects. Together, our results show that hMSC infusions effectively attenuate GvHD and maintain GvL potency in alloBMT mice and reveal potential biomarkers and mechanisms of action underlying hMSC effects.

Disclosures: Solchaga: Bimemetic Therapeutics: Employment. Cooke: Amgen: Provides experimental drug and central pharmacy support for 2 trials for which I am Co-PI.

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