Selective targeting of the LIGHT-HVEM costimulatory system for the treatment of graft-versus-host disease

Yanhui Xu, Andrew S. Flies, Dallas B. Flies, Gefeng Zhu, Sudarshan Anand, Sarah J. Flies, Haiying Xu, Robert A. Anders, Wayne W. Hancock, Lieping Chen, Koji Tamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Decoy lymphotoxin β receptor (LTβR) has potent immune inhibitory activities and thus represents a promising biologic for the treatment of inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). As this reagent interrupts multiple molecular interactions, including LTβ-LTβR and LIGHT-HVEM/LTβR, underlying molecular mechanisms have yet to be fully understood. In this study, we demonstrate that blockade of the LIGHT-HVEM pathway is sufficient to induce amelioration of GVHD in mouse models. Anti-host cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity following in vivo transfer of allogeneic lymphocytes was completely abrogated when LIGHT- or HVEM-deficient (KO) T cells were used as donor cells. Accordingly, survival of the recipient mice following the transfer of allogeneic bone marrow cells plus LIGHT-KO or HVEM-KO T cells was significantly prolonged. In the absence of LIGHT-HVEM costimulation, alloreactive donor T cells undergo vigorous apoptosis while their proliferative potential remains intact. Furthermore, we prepared a neutralizing monoclonal antibody (mAb) specific to HVEM and showed that administration of anti-HVEM mAb profoundly ameliorated GVHD and led to complete hematopoietic chimerism with donor cells. Collectively, our results demonstrate an indispensable role of LIGHT-HVEM costimulation in the pathogenesis of GVHD and illustrate a novel target for selective immunotherapy in allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4097-4104
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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