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Lymphodepletion by short-term chemotherapy does not alter the highly stable and persistent EBV specific CD8 T cell repertoire
Titre de la conférence
Annual Congress SGAI-SSAI, Advances in immunology and allergology: from research to diagnosis and therapy
Lugano, Switzerland, March 17-18, 2011
Date de publication
Protective T cell responses againstpersistent viruses like Epstein-Barrvirus in healthy individuals are characterizedby a remarkable stability ofthe T cell receptor (TCR) clonotypicrepertoire, with highly preservedclonotype selection and persistenceover time. Here, we extended recentwork to the study of EBV-specificCD8 T cell responses in melanomapatients treated by short-term chemotherapyfor transient lymphodepletion,followed by adoptive cell transfer(ACT) and immune reconstitutionfor cancer therapy. After this treatment,we observed increased proportionsof virus-specific T cells in 3/5patients, accompanied by a more differentiatedphenotype (EMRA/CD28neg), compared to specific cells ofhealthy individuals. Yet, similarly tohealthy donors, clonotype selectionand composition of virus-specific Tcells varied along the pathway of celldifferentiation, with some clonotypesthat were selected with late differentiation,while others were not. Aftertreatment, we did not observe noveldominant clonotypes, likely related toabsence of EBV reactivation measuredas viral load levels by quantitativePCR in PBMCs and antibody levelsin plasma samples. Furthermore,public TCR BV signatures were frequentlyfound within T cell clonotypesthat dominated the repertoiresof patients, in line with those observedin healthy individuals. Ourfindings indicate that even in situationswhere the immune system isstrongly challenged such as followinglymphodepletion and homeostatic repopulation,cytotoxic T cells specificfor EBV remain strikingly stable interms of clonotype selection and com-position along T cell differentiation.We are currently characterizing theclonotype selection and gene expressionprofiles of single EBV-specificCD8 T lymphocytes sorted ex-vivo inone patient who underwent two cyclesof lymphodepletion with escaladingdoses of chemotherapy overone-year interval. Observations madefrom this setting will provide additionalinsight into the degree of stabilityof virus specific T cells, and changesin the expression levels of genesimportant for cytolytic function andlong-term survival of T cells. Thiswork is supported by the Swiss NationalCenter of Competence in Research(NCCR) Molecular Oncology,and the Swiss National Science Foundation.
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