Minor histocompatibility antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes generated with dendritic cells from DLA-identical littermates

George E. Georges*, Marina Lesnikova, Rainer Storb, Murad Yunusov, Marie Térèse Little, Richard A. Nash

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Donor cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) specific for minor histocompatibility antigens (mHA) mediate the graft-versus-host effect whereas host mHA-specific CTL mediate graft rejection in the setting of major histocompatibility complex identical allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Development of a large animal model from which mHA-specific CTL can be isolated would accelerate translation in clinical studies to improve control of the graft-versus-host effect as well as prevention of graft rejection in sensitized hosts. The aims of the current study were to isolate mHA-specific CTL from dog leukocyte antigen-identical littermate nonsensitized recipients before transplantation, from stable mixed hematopoietic chimeras, and from dogs sensitized to mHA after graft rejection. Donor dendritic cells (DCs) were cultured from bone marrow-derived CD34+ cells and were used to stimulate recipient T lymphocytes on days 1, 10, and 20 of CTL culture. We reliably generated and expanded mHA-specific CTL ex vivo from sensitized dogs that were given a donor-specific blood transfusion to boost immune recall after graft rejection after a nonmyeloablative transplantation. The mHA-specific cytotoxicity measured by 51Cr release assay was enriched from less than 5% in the starting population of sensitized peripheral blood mononuclear cells to a median of 63% after 4 weeks in CTL culture. The expanded mHA-specific CTLs were not tissue-specific: hematopoietic cells, fibroblast, and stromal cell lines were lysed in an mHA-specific manner. Allogeneic DCs, but not peripheral blood mononuclear cells, were necessary for stimulating ex vivo expansion of mHA-specific CTL. We were unable to generate mHA-specific CTL from nonsensitized dogs before transplantation, from previously sensitized dogs but without recent recall immunization, or from stable mixed hematopoietic chimeras. We conclude that after recent in vivo sensitization, large-scale ex vivo expansion of mHA-specific CTL was feasible using allogeneic DCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-242
Number of pages9
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • Cytotoxic T lymphocyte
  • Dendritic cell
  • Graft rejection
  • Minor histocompatibility antigen
  • Nonmyeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Hematology


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