-Author name in bold denotes the presenting author
-Asterisk * with author name denotes a Non-ASH member
Clinically Relevant Abstract denotes an abstract that is clinically relevant.

PhD Trainee denotes that this is a recommended PHD Trainee Session.

Ticketed Session denotes that this is a ticketed session.

2048 The Scope of Allo-HLA Cross-Reactivity By (Third Party) Virus Specific T Cells Is Surprisingly Affected By HLA Restriction Rather Than Virus SpecificityClinically Relevant Abstract

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 703. Adoptive Immunotherapy: Poster I
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Diseases, viral, Biological, Therapies, Infectious Diseases, immunotherapy, Clinically relevant, transplantation
Saturday, December 1, 2018, 6:15 PM-8:15 PM
Hall GH (San Diego Convention Center)

Wesley Huisman, MSc1,2*, Didier A.T. Leboux1*, Lieve E. van der Maarel1*, Lois Hageman1*, Derk Amsen, PhD2*, J.H. Frederik Falkenburg, MD, PhD1 and Inge Jedema, PhD1

1Department of Hematology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands
2Department of Hematopoiesis, Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory for Blood Cell Research, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Reactivations of cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein Bar virus (EBV) and adenovirus (AdV) are frequently seen in immune compromised patients after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT), and are associated with high morbidity and mortality. T cell immunity is essential for anti-viral protection, but a fully competent T cell repertoire generally does not develop until 3-6 months after transplantation. Especially patients transplanted with a virus non- experienced donor are at risk of developing severe complications. Adoptive transfer of partially HLA-matched virus specific T cells from healthy third party donors is a potential strategy to temporarily provide anti-viral immunity to these patients. However, these partially HLA-matched T cells harbor a risk of mediating allo-HLA cross-reactivity. Here, we investigated whether virus specificity and HLA restriction of the virus specific T cells influence the risk of allo-HLA cross-reactivity, and thus the development of GVHD.

To determine the occurrence and diversity of allo-HLA cross-reactivity, virus specific CD8 T cells from homozygous HLA-A*01:01/B*08:01 and HLA-A*02:01/B*07:02 donors were isolated by cell sorting using tetramers for various peptides from CMV, EBV and AdV. Allo-HLA cross-reactivity was tested using an allogeneic EBV-LCL panel covering 116 different HLA molecules and confirmed using K562 cells retrovirally transduced with single HLA alleles of interest.

A significant proportion of the virus specific T cell populations (n=174; 20 specificities) isolated from 27 healthy donors exerted allo-HLA cross-reactivity, as measured by recognition of 1 or more HLA mismatched EBV-LCLs from the panel. Similar frequencies were found for the various viral specificities showing 30% of the CMV, 46% of the EBV and 36% of the AdV-specific T cell populations to be allo-HLA cross-reactive. However, for some specificities (e.g. HLA-A*0201-restricted EBV-LMP2-FLY) allo-HLA cross-reactivity was infrequent (n=1/11), whereas for other specificities (e.g. HLA-B*08:01-restricted EBV-BZLF1-RAK) the majority of the T cell populations (n=9/13) was allo-HLA reactive. Surprisingly, a much larger fraction of HLA-B*08:01 restricted virus specific T cell populations showed allo-HLA cross-reactivity (72%, 36 out of 50 T cell lines), compared to the other HLA restricted virus specific T cell populations (29% of HLA-A*01:01, 30% of HLA-A*02:01 and 26% of HLA-B*07:02 restricted virus specific T cell lines). HLA-B*08:01 restricted virus specific T cells also exhibited the broadest allo-HLA reactivity, reacting to a median of 5 allo EBV-LCLs (range 1-17). In contrast, HLA-A*01:01, HLA-A*02:01 and HLA-B*07:02 restricted virus specific T cells reacted to a median of 1, 2 and 3 (ranges 1-7) allo EBV-LCLs, respectively. Dissection of the diversity/specificity of the allo-HLA reactivity using the panel of 40 different single HLA transduced K562 cells further illustrated the extensive allo-HLA cross-reactivity for HLA-B*08:01 restricted T cells isolated from homozygous HLA-A*01/B*08 donors compared to virus specific T cells restricted by other HLA alleles.

These data show that allo-HLA cross-reactivity by virus specific T cells is highly influenced by the HLA restriction and not by the viral specificity of the T cell populations. Of the HLA-A*01, A*02, B*07 and B*08-restricted virus specific T cell populations isolated from homozygous donors, HLA-B*08:01 restricted virus specific T cells showed the highest frequency and diversity of allo-HLA cross-reactivity. Our results indicate that selection of virus specific T cells with specific HLA restrictions may decrease the risk of developing GVHD after infusion of third-party virus specific T cells to patients with uncontrolled viral reactivation after alloSCT.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

*signifies non-member of ASH