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Keywords:

  • haematopoietic stem cell transplantation;
  • granulocyte-colony stimulating factor mobilization;
  • cytomegalovirus-specific T cells;
  • CD154;
  • immunotherapy

Summary

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections post-haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) can be effectively controlled through the adoptive transfer of donor-derived CMV-specific T cells (CMV-T). Current strategies involve a second leukapheresis collection from the original donor to manufacture CMV-T, which is often not possible in the unrelated donor setting. To overcome these limitations we have investigated the use of a small aliquot of the original granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) mobilized HSCT graft to manufacture CMV-T. We explored the T cell response to CMVpp65 peptide stimulation in G-CSF mobilized peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and subsequently examined isolation of CMV-T based on the activation markers CD154 and CD25. CD25+ enriched CMV-T from G-CSF mobilized PBMC contained a higher proportion of FoxP3 expression than non-mobilized PBMC and showed superior suppression of T cell proliferation. Expanded CMV-T enriched through CD154 were CD4+ and CD8+, demonstrated a high specificity for CMV, secreted cytotoxic effector molecules and lysed CMVpp65 peptide-loaded phytohaemagglutinin-stimulated blasts. These data provide the first known evidence that CMV-T can be effectively manufactured from G-CSF mobilized PBMC and that they share the same characteristics as CMV-T isolated in an identical manner from conventional non-mobilized PBMC. This provides a novel strategy for adoptive immunotherapy that abrogates the need for successive donation.