Selective depletion of alloreactive T cells from allogeneic stem cell grafts can reduce graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) while preserving beneficial effects of T cells including facilitation of engraftment, protection against opportunistic infection, and reduced relapse risk. Memory T cells (CD62L -) represent a population of T cells that have previously encountered pathogens and may contain fewer T cells capable of recognizing neoantigens including recipient allogeneic antigen (aAg). We investigated whether human naive (CD62L+) or memory (CD62L-) T cells had different capacities to respond to aAg by assessing their ability to proliferate in response to and lyse HLA-mismatched Epstein-Barr virus-transformed B cells. Freshly sorted and in vitro expanded CD62L- memory T cells were less responsive to aAg stimulation than were CD62L+ naive T cells but contained higher levels of cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific T cells. Analysis of T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire showed restricted TCR diversity in the memory T-cell population possibly due to selection associated with chronic exposure to common pathogens. Memory T cells may represent a donor cell subpopulation suitable for enhancing immune reconstitution without increasing the risk of GVHD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology