Genetics of graft-versus-host disease, I. A locus on chromosome 1 influences development of acute graft-versus-host disease in a major histocompatibility complex mismatched murine model.

Department of Biology, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, IN, USA.
Immunology (Impact Factor: 3.74). 02/1999; 96(2):254-61. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2567.1999.00626.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is the major complication occurring after bone marrow transplantation. The severity of GVHD varies widely, with this variation generally being attributed to variation in the degree of disparity between host and donor for minor histocompatibility antigens. However, it is also possible that other forms of polymorphism, such as polymorphisms in immune effector molecules, might play a significant role in determining GVHD severity. In order to investigate this hypothesis, we are studying the genetic factors that influence GVHD development in a murine model. We here report the first results of this analysis, which demonstrate that a locus on Chromosome 1 of the mouse, and possibly also a locus on Chromosome 4, exert considerable influence over the development of one aspect of acute GVHD - splenomegaly - in a parent-->F1 murine model. These results demonstrate that non-MHC genes can exert quite significant effects on the development of GVHD-associated pathology and that gene mapping can be used as a tool to identify these loci. Further analysis of such loci will allow identification of the mechanism whereby they influence GVHD and may lead in the future to improved selection of donors for human bone marrow transplantation.

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    ABSTRACT: Graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) is the major cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hemopoietic cell transplantation. From a genetic perspective, GVHD is a complex phenotypic trait. Although it is understood that susceptibility results from interacting polymorphisms of genes encoding histocompatibility Ags and immune regulatory molecules, a detailed and integrative understanding of the genetic background underlying GVHD remains lacking. To gain insight regarding these issues, we performed a forward genetic study. A MHC-matched mouse model was used in which irradiated recipient BALB.K and B10.BR mice demonstrate differential susceptibility to lethal GHVD when transplanted using AKR/J donors. Assessment of GVHD in (B10.BR x BALB.K)F(1) mice revealed that susceptibility is a dominant trait and conferred by deleterious alleles from the BALB.K strain. To identify the alleles responsible for GVHD susceptibility, a genome-scanning approach was taken using (B10.BR x BALB.K)F(1) x B10.BR backcross mice as recipients. A major susceptibility locus, termed the Gvh1 locus, was identified on chromosome 16 using linkage analysis (logarithm of the odds, 9.1). A second locus was found on chromosome 13, named Gvh2, which had additive but protective effects. Further identification of Gvh genes by positional cloning may yield new insight into genetic control mechanisms regulating GVHD and potentially reveal novel approaches for effective GVHD therapy.
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