Harnessing the physiology of lymphopenia to support adoptive immunotherapy in lymphoreplete hosts

Yongzhi Cui, Hua Zhang, Joanna Meadors, Rita Poon, Martin Guimond, Crystal L. Mackall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Lymphopenia enhances the effectiveness of adoptive immunotherapy by facilitating expansion of transferred T cells but also limits the T-cell repertoire available to mediate immune responses and, in humans, is associated with chronic immune dysfunction. Previous studies concluded that lymphopenia augments adoptive immunotherapy by diminishing Tregs and increasing homeostatic cytokines. We sought to determine whether targeted therapies that replicate the physiology of lymphopenia in lymphoreplete hosts could provide a similarly supportive milieu. Pmel-1 T cells were transferred to B16-bearing lymphopenic versus lymphoreplete mice receiving αCD25 and/or recombinant human interleukin-7. Although CD25-based Treg depletion was inefficient because of peripheral expansion of CD4+CD25-FOXP3+ cells, outcomes were better in αCD25-treated lymphoreplete hosts than in lymphopenic hosts, and adoptive immunotherapy was most effective in lymphoreplete hosts receiving αCD25 plus recombinant human interleukin-7. Lymphopenic hosts supported increased proliferation of adoptively transferred antigen-specific T cells, but cells transferred to lymphoreplete recipients receiving targeted therapies showed superior function. Further, determinant spreading was substantial in lymphoreplete hosts but absent in lymphopenic hosts. These results demonstrate that targeted therapies delivered to mimic the "physiology of lymphopenia" enhance the efficacy of adoptive immunotherapy in lymphoreplete hosts and provide a potentially superior alternative to the induction of lymphopenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3831-3840
Number of pages10
Issue number18
StatePublished - Oct 29 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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