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Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD)

IL-21; inducible T cell co-stimulator (ICOS); CD40; CXC chemokine receptor 5 (CXCR5)

Mouse studies suggest inhibiting the effects of T follicular helper cells could help treat chronic GvHD and associated bronchiolitis. In a mouse model of chronic GvHD, transplantation of T cells deficient in CXCR5 improved bronchiolitis symptoms by increasing pulmonary function and decreasing antibody and collagen deposition in the lungs compared with transplantation of wild-type T cells. In the model, antibodies against IL-21, ICOS or CD40, which are all involved in T cell IL-21 production, improved bronchiolitis symptoms compared with a control antibody. Next steps could include determining the most effective strategy to block T follicular helper cell function.

SciBX 7(25); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.746
Published online June 26, 2014

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Flynn, R. et al. Blood; published online May 12, 2014;
Contact: Bruce R. Blazar, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.