Antithymocyte Globulin Induces a Tolerogenic Phenotype in Human Dendritic Cells

Roider, Tobias; Katzfuß, Michael; Matos, Carina; Singer, Katrin; Renner, Kathrin; Oefner, Peter J.; Dettmer-Wilde, Katja; Herr, Wolfgang; Holler, Ernst; Kreutz, Marina; Peter, Katrin
December 2016
International Journal of Molecular Sciences;Dec2016, Vol. 17 Issue 12, p2081
Academic Journal
Antithymocyte globulin (ATG) is used in the prevention of graft-versus-host disease during allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. It is generally accepted that ATG mediates its immunosuppressive effect primarily via depletion of T cells. Here, we analyzed the impact of ATG-Fresenius (now Grafalon®) on human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC). ATG induced a semi-mature phenotype in DC with significantly reduced expression of CD14, increased expression of HLA-DR, and intermediate expression of CD54, CD80, CD83, and CD86. ATG-DC showed an increase in IL-10 secretion but no IL-12 production. In line with this tolerogenic phenotype, ATG caused a significant induction of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase expression and a concomitant increase in levels of tryptophan metabolites in the supernatants of DC. Further, ATG-DC did not induce the proliferation of allogeneic T cells in a mixed lymphocyte reaction but actively suppressed the T cell proliferation induced by mature DC. These data suggest that besides its well-known effect on T cells, ATG modulates the phenotype of DC in a tolerogenic way, which might constitute an essential part of its immunosuppressive action in vivo.


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