Acute graft-versus-host disease without costimulation via CD28.
Speiser DE., Bachmann MF., Shahinian A., Mak TW., Ohashi PS.
T lymphocyte activity is enhanced by costimulatory signals mediated through CD28 binding to B7-1/B7-2 on antigen-presenting cells. Several recent studies have shown that graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) can be inhibited by in vivo treatment with CTLA4Ig, which blocks CD28-B7 interactions. These findings prompted us to investigate the role of CD28 in acute GVHD, using gene-targeted mice. We performed the experiments in the context of strong allogeneic MHC stimulation (H2(b) anti-H2(d)) and weak stimulation (H2(d) anti-H2(b)). In both directions, efficient in vitro T-cell cytotoxicity and acute lethal GVHD were induced by CD28-deficient lymphocytes, which was only partially delayed when compared with wild-type mice. We conclude that lethal GVHD can develop without costimulation via CD28.