A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, University of Oslo (Norway) and University of Newcastle (UK) found that skin and intestinal t cells in a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation patient survive conditioning regimens and continue to perform their normal functions. Under certain conditions, the study found those t cells can become activated by donor white blood cells.
During conditioning, normal white blood t cells are depleted. Researchers found the t cells in the skin and gut were not. From News-Medical.net:
Based on the high throughput sequencing and STR analysis, the team saw that there were still abundant host T cells present in the skin and small intestine during GVHD, even when blood cells were 100% of donor origin. The mouse models demonstrated that skin-resident host T cells could be activated by donor non-T cell white blood cells to generate GVHD-like skin inflammation. The results indicate that unexpectedly, skin- and intestinal-resident T cells not only survive conditioning regimens, but are present in tissues during acute GVHD and very likely play an important role in the pathphysiology of this disease.
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