Double-Negative T Cell Levels Correlate with Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease Severity

Philippe Moreau, S. Vincent Rajkumar, Maria-Victoria Mateos, Francesca Gay, Tomas Skacel, Fredrik Schjesvold, Wee Joo Chng, Roman Hajek, Sonja Zweegman, Chang-Ki Min, Ajeeta B Dash, Agnieszka Pluta, Shinsuke Iida, Richard Labotka, Zhaoyang Teng, Andrew Spencer, Martin Kaiser, Katja Christina Weisel, Meletios Dimopoulos, Meral BeksacKaveri Suryanarayan, Gareth Morgan, Vladimir Maisnar, Hartmut Goldschmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a major complication, affecting 50% to 80% of long-term survivors of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Current cGVHD therapies are neither specific nor curative, and patients are typically maintained for several months to years under immunosuppressive regimens that are associated with important side effects and increased susceptibility to life-threatening infections. As a result, continued investigation into the pathology of the disease and the search for novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to treat cGVHD remains a high priority. We report that the cellular dynamics of various immune cell subsets are related to cGVHD onset and severity in a cohort of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients. We document a decrease in the proportion of CD45RO + CD4 CD8 (double-negative [DN]) T cells at the onset of cGVHD, a time at which serum levels of B cell activating factor and B cells are increased. We also find that DN T cell levels are correlated with cGVHD severity. Our present findings are in line with the view that activated DN T cells exhibit their immunoregulatory potential by eliminating B cells in vivo. Taken together, these findings suggest that maintaining elevated DN T cell numbers before the onset of cGVHD may prevent pathological B cell responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalBiology of blood and marrow transplantation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • B cells
  • BAFF
  • DN T cells
  • chronic graft vs host disease immunoregulatory cells

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