In vitro generation of Epstein-Barr virus-specific cytotoxic T cells in patients receiving haplo-identical allogeneic stem cell transplantation

Academic Article


  • Use of a partially mismatched related donor (PMRD) is an option for patients who require allogeneic transplantation but do not have a matched sibling or unrelated donor. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-induced lymphoma is a major cause of mortality after PMRD transplantation. In this study, we present a clinical grade culture system for donor-derived EBV-specific cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) that do not recognize haplo-identical recipient cells. The EBV-specific CTLs were tested for cytolytic specificity and other functional properties, including ability to transgress into tissues, propensity for apoptosis, degree of clonality, stability of dominant T-cell clones, and Tc and Th phenotypes. The EBV-specific CTLs were routinely expanded to greater than 80 × 106 over a period of 5 weeks, which is sufficient for clinical application. A CD8+ phenotype predominated, and the CTLs were highly specific for donor lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) without killing of recipient targets or K562. Vβ spectratyping showed an oligoclonal population that was stable on prolonged culture. The EBV-specific CTLs were activated (D-related human leukocyte antigen [HLA-DR+], L-selectin+/-) and of memory phenotype (CD45RO+). Expression of the integrin VLA-4 suggested that these CTLs could adhere to endothelium and migrate into tissues. The Bcl-2 message was upregulated, which may protect the CTLs from the apoptosis. The first demonstration of overexpression of bcl-2 in human memory CTLs. In addition, we show that lymphoblastoid cell lines used to generate CTLs are readily genetically modified with recombinant lentivirus, indicating that genetically engineered antigen presentation is feasible.
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    Author List

  • Musk P; Szmania S; Galloway A; Johnson K; Scott A; Guttman S; Bridges K; Bruorton M; Gatlin J; Garcia JV
  • Start Page

  • 312
  • End Page

  • 322
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 4