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Boucault, M-D. Lopez Robles, A. Thiolat, S. Bézie, M. Schmueck-Henneresse, C. Braudeau, N. Vimond, A. Freuchet, E. Austrusseau, F. Charlotte, R. Redjoul, F. Beckerich, M. Leclerc, E. Piaggio, R. Josien, H-D. Volk, S. Maury, J. L Cohen, I. Anegon* and C. Guillonneau*.

2020 | Blood Adv. 4. 2501-2515.


Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is a widely spread treatment of many hematological diseases, but its most important side effect is graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Despite the development of new therapies, acute GVHD (aGVHD) occurs in 30% to 50% of allogeneic BMT and is characterized by the generation of effector T (Teff) cells with production of inflammatory cytokines. We previously demonstrated that a short anti-CD45RC monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment in a heart allograft rat model transiently decreased CD45RChigh Teff cells and increased regulatory T cell (Treg) number and function allowing long-term donor- specific tolerance. Here, we demonstrated in rat and mouse allogeneic GVHD, as well as in xenogeneic GVHD mediated by human T cells in NSG mice, that both ex vivo depletion of CD45RChigh T cells and in vivo treatment with short-course anti-CD45RC mAbs inhibited aGVHD. In the rat model, we demonstrated that long surviving animals treated with anti- CD45RC mAbs were fully engrafted with donor cells and developed a donor-specific tolerance. Finally, we validated the rejection of a human tumor in NSG mice infused with human cells and treated with anti-CD45RC mAbs. The anti-human CD45RC mAbs showed a favorable safety profile because it did not abolish human memory antiviral immune responses, nor trigger cytokine release in in vitro assays. Altogether, our results show the potential of a prophylactic treatment with anti-human CD45RC mAbs in combination with rapamycin as a new therapy to treat aGVHD without abolishing the antitumor effect.