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Immunosuppressive FK506 treatment leads to more frequent EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disease in humanized mice


Abstract

Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is a potentially fatal complication after organ transplantation frequently associated with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Immunosuppressive treatment is thought to allow the expansion of EBV-infected B cells, which often express all eight oncogenic EBV latent proteins. Here, we assessed whether HLA-A2 transgenic humanized NSG mice treated with the immunosuppressant FK506 could be used to model EBV-PTLD. We found that FK506 treatment of EBV-infected mice led to an elevated viral burden, more frequent tumor formation and diminished EBV-induced T cell responses, indicative of reduced EBV-specific immune control. EBV latency III and lymphoproliferation-associated cellular transcripts were up-regulated in B cells from immunosuppressed animals, akin to the viral and host gene expression pattern found in EBV-PTLD. Utilizing an unbiased gene expression profiling approach, we identified genes differentially expressed in B cells of EBV-infected animals with and without FK506 treatment. Upon investigating the most promising candidates, we validated sCD30 as a marker of uncontrolled EBV proliferation in both humanized mice and in pediatric patients with EBV-PTLD. High levels of sCD30 have been previously associated with EBV-PTLD in patients. As such, we believe that humanized mice can indeed model aspects of EBV-PTLD development and may prove useful for the safety assessment of immunomodulatory therapies.

Abstract

Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is a potentially fatal complication after organ transplantation frequently associated with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Immunosuppressive treatment is thought to allow the expansion of EBV-infected B cells, which often express all eight oncogenic EBV latent proteins. Here, we assessed whether HLA-A2 transgenic humanized NSG mice treated with the immunosuppressant FK506 could be used to model EBV-PTLD. We found that FK506 treatment of EBV-infected mice led to an elevated viral burden, more frequent tumor formation and diminished EBV-induced T cell responses, indicative of reduced EBV-specific immune control. EBV latency III and lymphoproliferation-associated cellular transcripts were up-regulated in B cells from immunosuppressed animals, akin to the viral and host gene expression pattern found in EBV-PTLD. Utilizing an unbiased gene expression profiling approach, we identified genes differentially expressed in B cells of EBV-infected animals with and without FK506 treatment. Upon investigating the most promising candidates, we validated sCD30 as a marker of uncontrolled EBV proliferation in both humanized mice and in pediatric patients with EBV-PTLD. High levels of sCD30 have been previously associated with EBV-PTLD in patients. As such, we believe that humanized mice can indeed model aspects of EBV-PTLD development and may prove useful for the safety assessment of immunomodulatory therapies.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Experimental Immunology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Parasitology
Life Sciences > Microbiology
Life Sciences > Immunology
Life Sciences > Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > Genetics
Life Sciences > Virology
Language:English
Date:April 2020
Deposited On:04 Feb 2021 16:24
Last Modified:06 Feb 2021 03:42
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1553-7366
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008477
PubMed ID:32251475

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