The use of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) has increased as new techniques have been developed for transplantation in patients who previously would not have been considered HCT candidates. However, its efficacy continued to be limited by the development of frequent and severe acute GVHD. The complex and intricate pathophysiology of acute GVHD is a consequence of interactions between the donor and host innate and adaptive immune responses. Multiple inflammatory molecules and cell types are implicated in the development of GVHD that can be categorized as: (1) triggers that initiate GVHD by therapy-induced tissue damage and the antigen disparities between host and graft tissue; (2) sensors that detect the triggers, that is, process and present alloantigens; (3) mediators such as T-cell subsets (naive, memory, regulatory, Th17 and natural killer T cells) and (4) the effectors and amplifiers that cause damage of the target organs. These multiple inflammatory molecules and cell types that are implicated in the development of GVHD have been described with models that use stepwise cascades. Herein, we provide a novel perspective on the immunobiology of acute GVHD and briefly discuss some of the outstanding questions and limitations of the model systems.
- Acute graft-versus-host disease
- Adaptive immune responses
- Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
ASJC Scopus subject areas