T-cell frequencies of CD8+ γδ and CD27+ γδ cells in the stem cell graft predict the outcome after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation

Ahmed Gaballa, Arwen Stikvoort, Björn Önfelt, Jonas Mattsson, Mikael Sundin, Emma Watz, Michael Uhlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The impact of intra-graft T cells on the clinical outcome after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation has been investigated. Most previous studies have focused on the role of αβ cells while γδ cells have received less attention. It has been an open question whether γδ cells are beneficial or not for patient outcome, especially with regards to graft versus host disease. In this study, graft composition of γδ cell subsets was analyzed and correlated to clinical outcome in 105 recipients who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation between 2013 and 2016. We demonstrate for the first time that grafts containing higher T-cell proportions of CD8+γδ cells were associated with increased cumulative incidence of acute graft versus host disease grade II–III (50% vs 22.6%; P = 0.008). Additionally, graft T-cell frequency of CD27+γδ cells was inversely correlated with relapse (P = 0.006) and CMV reactivation (P = 0.05). We conclude that clinical outcome after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is influenced by the proportions of distinct γδ cell subsets in the stem cell graft. We also provide evidence that CD8+γδ cells are potentially alloreactive and may play a role in acute graft versus host disease. This study illustrates the importance of better understanding of the role of distinct subsets of γδ cells in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1562-1574
Number of pages13
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

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