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ROCK1/2 signaling contributes to corticosteroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease


Abstract

Patients with corticosteroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) have a low one-year survival rate. Identification and validation of novel targetable kinases in patients who experience corticosteroid-refractory-aGVHD may help improve outcomes. Kinase-specific proteomics of leukocytes from patients with corticosteroid-refractory-GVHD identified rho kinase type 1 (ROCK1) as the most significantly upregulated kinase. ROCK1/2 inhibition improved survival and histological GVHD severity in mice and was synergistic with JAK1/2 inhibition, without compromising graft-versus-leukemia-effects. ROCK1/2-inhibition in macrophages or dendritic cells prior to transfer reduced GVHD severity. Mechanistically, ROCK1/2 inhibition or ROCK1 knockdown interfered with CD80, CD86, MHC-II expression and IL-6, IL-1β, iNOS and TNF production in myeloid cells. This was accompanied by impaired T cell activation by dendritic cells and inhibition of cytoskeletal rearrangements, thereby reducing macrophage and DC migration. NF-κB signaling was reduced in myeloid cells following ROCK1/2 inhibition. In conclusion, ROCK1/2 inhibition interferes with immune activation at multiple levels and reduces acute GVHD while maintaining GVL-effects, including in corticosteroid-refractory settings.

Abstract

Patients with corticosteroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) have a low one-year survival rate. Identification and validation of novel targetable kinases in patients who experience corticosteroid-refractory-aGVHD may help improve outcomes. Kinase-specific proteomics of leukocytes from patients with corticosteroid-refractory-GVHD identified rho kinase type 1 (ROCK1) as the most significantly upregulated kinase. ROCK1/2 inhibition improved survival and histological GVHD severity in mice and was synergistic with JAK1/2 inhibition, without compromising graft-versus-leukemia-effects. ROCK1/2-inhibition in macrophages or dendritic cells prior to transfer reduced GVHD severity. Mechanistically, ROCK1/2 inhibition or ROCK1 knockdown interfered with CD80, CD86, MHC-II expression and IL-6, IL-1β, iNOS and TNF production in myeloid cells. This was accompanied by impaired T cell activation by dendritic cells and inhibition of cytoskeletal rearrangements, thereby reducing macrophage and DC migration. NF-κB signaling was reduced in myeloid cells following ROCK1/2 inhibition. In conclusion, ROCK1/2 inhibition interferes with immune activation at multiple levels and reduces acute GVHD while maintaining GVL-effects, including in corticosteroid-refractory settings.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Experimental Immunology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
570 Life sciences; biology
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > General Chemistry
Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Physical Sciences > General Physics and Astronomy
Language:English
Date:10 January 2024
Deposited On:31 Jan 2024 11:15
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 01:38
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-44703-7
PubMed ID:38199985
  • Content: Accepted Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)