Editors' ChoiceImmunology

Dawn of new graft-versus-host disease therapies

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Sci. Signal.  01 Dec 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 405, pp. ec359
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad9392

Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCT) is a common therapy for patients with damaged bone marrow or immunodeficiencies. However, HCT is not without risk: If the donor is not a perfect match to the recipient, immune cells derived from the graft can attack their new home. Furlan et al. examined the gene expression profile of nonhuman primate T cells during acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). The transcriptomics signatures specific for alloreactive T cells identified pathways altered during acute GVHD that could serve as therapeutic targets. Detailed analysis of one putative target, aurora kinase A, demonstrated that pharmacologic inhibition improved survival in a mouse model of GVHD.

S. N. Furlan, B. Watkins, V. Tkachev, R. Flynn, S. Cooley, S. Ramakrishnan, K. Singh, C. Giver, K. Hamby, L. Stempora, A. Garrett, J. Chen, K. M. Betz, C. G. K. Ziegler, G. K. Tharp, S. E. Bosinger, D. E. L. Promislow, J. S. Miller, E. K. Waller, B. R. Blazar, L. S. Kean, Transcriptome analysis of GVHD reveals aurora kinase A as a targetable pathway for disease prevention. Sci. Transl. Med. 7, 315ra191 (2015). [Abstract]