Cross-reactive anti-viral T cells increase prior to an episode of viral reactivation post human lung transplantation

Thi Hoang Oanh Nguyen, Glen Philip Westall, Tara Elaina Bull, Aislin Clare Meehan, Nicole Andrea Mifsud, Anastase Thomas Christos Kotsimbos

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Human Cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation continues to influence lung transplant outcomes. Cross-reactivity of anti-viral memory T cells against donor human leukocyte antigens (HLA) may be a contributing factor. We identified cross-reactive HLA-A*02:01-restricted CMV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) co-recognizing the NLVPMVATV (NLV) epitope and HLA-B27. NLV-specific CD8+ T cells were expanded for 13 days from 14 HLA-A*02:01/CMV seropositive healthy donors and 11 lung transplant recipients (LTR) then assessed for the production of IFN-? and CD107a expression in response to 19 cell lines expressing either single HLA-A or -B class I molecules. In one healthy individual, we observed functional and proliferative cross-reactivity in response to B*27:05 alloantigen, representing approximately 5 of the NLV-specific CTL population. Similar patterns were also observed in one LTR receiving a B27 allograft, revealing that the cross-reactive NLV-specific CTL gradually increased (days 13-193 post-transplant) before a CMV reactivation event (day 270) and reduced to basal levels following viral clearance (day 909). Lung function remained stable with no acute rejection episodes being reported up to 3 years post-transplant. Individualized immunological monitoring of cross-reactive anti-viral T cells will provide further insights into their effects on the allograft and an opportunity to predict sub-clinical CMV reactivation events and immunopathological complications.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere56042
Number of pages12
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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