Kremer AN, van der Griendt JC, van der Meijden ED, Honders MW, Ayoglu B, Schwenk JM, Nilsson P, Falkenburg JH, Griffioen M
Haematologica 99 (2) 365-369 [2014-02-00; online 2013-10-04]
It is well known that allo-reactive T cells play a crucial role in graft-versus-leukemia and graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT). Allo-reactive CD4(+) T cells can mediate direct cytolysis, but may also stimulate production of IgG antibodies as helper cells. Immune complexes may subsequently be processed and presented by professional antigen presenting cells and stimulate induction of specific CD8(+) T cells. As such, proteins targeted in coordinated T- and B-cell responses may represent a class of immunodominant antigens in clinical responses after alloSCT. We previously identified LB-PTK2B-1T as HLA class II restricted polymorphic antigen in a patient treated with donor lymphocyte infusion for relapsed chronic myeloid leukemia after HLA-matched alloSCT. Since PTK2B has also been described as antibody target, we here investigated whether a coordinated T- and B-cell response against PTK2B was induced. Patient serum before and after alloSCT and donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) was screened for antibodies, and we indeed observed development of a humoral immune response against PTK2B. Antibodies against PTK2B were only found after DLI and, in contrast to the CD4(+) T cells, recognized a monomorphic region of the protein. To our knowledge, this is the first description of a coordinated allo-reactive CD4(+) T-cell and auto-reactive antibody response against an autosomal antigen.