Genetically modified human CD4(+) T cells can be evaluated in vivo without lethal graft-versus-host disease.

Document Type


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JAX Source

Immunology 2016 Aug; 148(4):339-51




CA34196, RDAI112321, UC4DK104218


Adoptive cell immunotherapy for human diseases, including the use of T cells modified to express an anti-tumour T-cell receptor (TCR) or chimeric antigen receptor, is showing promise as an effective treatment modality. Further advances would be accelerated by the availability of a mouse model that would permit human T-cell engineering protocols and proposed genetic modifications to be evaluated in vivo. NOD-scid IL2rγ(null) (NSG) mice accept the engraftment of mature human T cells; however, long-term evaluation of transferred cells has been hampered by the xenogeneic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) that occurs soon after cell transfer. We modified human primary CD4(+) T cells by lentiviral transduction to express a human TCR that recognizes a pancreatic beta cell-derived peptide in the context of HLA-DR4. The TCR-transduced cells were transferred to NSG mice engineered to express HLA-DR4 and to be deficient for murine class II MHC molecules. CD4(+) T-cell-depleted peripheral blood mononuclear cells were also transferred to facilitate engraftment. The transduced cells exhibited long-term survival (up to 3 months post-transfer) and lethal GVHD was not observed. This favourable outcome was dependent upon the pre-transfer T-cell transduction and culture conditions, which influenced both the kinetics of engraftment and the development of GVHD. This approach should now permit human T-cell transduction protocols and genetic modifications to be evaluated in vivo, and it should also facilitate the development of human disease models that incorporate human T cells. Immunology 2016 Aug; 148(4):339-51