Date of Graduation

12-2012

Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Immunology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Madeleine Duvic, M.D.

Committee Member

Amin Alousi, M.D.

Committee Member

Wei Cao, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dorothy Lewis, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Greg Lizee, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Xiao Ni, M.D., Ph.D. & Stephen E. Ullrich, Ph.D.

Abstract

IMMUNOLOGICAL MECHANISMS OF EXTRACORPOREAL PHOTOPHERESIS IN CUTANEOUS T CELL LYMPHOMA AND GRAFT VERSUS HOST DISEASE

Publication No.___________

Lisa Harn-Ging Shiue, B.S.

Supervisory Professor: Madeleine Duvic, M.D.

Extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) is an effective, low-risk immunomodulating therapy for leukemic cutaneous T cell lymphoma (L-CTCL) and graft versus host disease (GVHD), but whether the mechanism(s) of action in these two diseases is (are) identical or different is unclear. To determine the effects of ECP in vivo, we studied regulatory T cells (T-regs), cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), and dendritic cells (DCs) by immunofluorescence flow cytometry in 18 L-CTCL and 11 GVHD patients before and after ECP at Day 2, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months. In this study, ECP was effective in 12/18 L-CTCL patients with a 66.7% overall response rate (ORR) and 6/11 GVHD patients with a 54.5% ORR. Prior to ECP, the percentages of CD4+Foxp3+ T cells in 9 L-CTCL patients were either lower (L-CTCL-Low, n=2) or higher (L-CTCL-High, n=7) than normal. Five of the 7 GVHD patients had high percentages of CD4+Foxp3+ T cells (GVHD-High). Six of 7 L-CTCL-High patients had >80% CD4+Foxp3+ T cells which were correlated with tumor cells, and were responders. Both L-CTCL-High and GVHD-High patients had decreased percentages of CD4+Foxp3+ and CD4+Foxp3+CD25- T cells after 3 months of treatment. CD4+Foxp3+CD25+ T cells increased in GVHD-High patients but decreased in L-CTCL-High patients after 3 months of ECP. In addition, numbers of CTLs were abnormal. We confirmed that numbers of CTLs were low in L-CTCL patients, but high in GVHD patients prior to ECP. After ECP, CTLs increased after 1 month in 4/6 L-CTCL patients whereas CTLs decreased after 6 months in 3/3 GVHD patients. Myeloid (mDCs) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) were also low at baseline in L-CTCL and GVHD patients confirming the DC defect. After 6 months of ECP, numbers and percentages of mDCs and pDCs increased in L-CTCL and GVHD. MDCs were favorably increased in 8/12 L-CTCL responders whereas pDCs were favorably increased in GVHD patients. These data suggest that ECP is favorably modulating the DC subsets. In L-CTCL patients, the mDCs may orchestrate Th1 cell responses to overcome immune suppression and facilitate disease regression. However, in GVHD patients, ECP is favorably down-regulating the immune system and may be facilitating immune tolerance to auto-or allo-antigens. In both L-CTCL and GVHD patients, DCs are modulated, but the T cell responses orchestrated by the DCs are different, suggesting that ECP modulates depending on the immune milieu.

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Keywords

Immunobiology, regulatory T cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes, dendritic cells, humans, Houston, TX, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center