Gerrit Weber 1 , Luisa Strocchio 1 , Francesca Del Bufalo 1 , Mattia Algeri 1 , Daria Pagliara 1 , Claudia Manuela Arnone 1 , Biagio De Angelis 1 , Concetta Quintarelli 1 , Franco Locatelli 1 , 2 , Pietro Merli 1 , Ignazio Caruana 1
29 January 2021
Graft failure is a severe complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The mechanisms involved in this phenomenon are still not completely understood; data available suggest that recipient T lymphocytes surviving the conditioning regimen are the main mediators of immune-mediated graft failure. So far, no predictive marker or early detection method is available. In order to identify a non-invasive and efficient strategy to diagnose this complication, as well as to find possible targets to prevent/treat it, we performed a detailed analysis of serum of eight patients experiencing graft failure after T-cell depleted HLA-haploidentical HSCT. In this study, we confirm data describing graft failure to be a complex phenomenon involving different components of the immune system, mainly driven by the IFNγ pathway. We observed a significant modulation of IL7, IL8, IL18, IL27, CCL2, CCL5 (Rantes), CCL7, CCL20 (MIP3a), CCL24 (Eotaxin2), and CXCL11 in patients experiencing graft failure, as compared to matched patients not developing this complication. For some of these factors, the difference was already present at the time of infusion of the graft, thus allowing early risk stratification. Moreover, these cytokines/chemokines could represent possible targets, providing the rationale for exploring new therapeutic/preventive strategies.