Fas-deficient lpr mice are more susceptible to graft-versus-host disease
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
Graft vs Host Disease
The Fas/Fas ligand (FasL) pathway is involved in a variety of regulatory mechanisms that could be important for the development of graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) after bone marrow transplantation (BMT), such as cytolysis of target cells by cytotoxic T cells, regulation of inflammatory responses, peripheral deletion of autoimmune cells, costimulation of T cells, and activation-induced cell death. To further evaluate the role of Fas/FasL in the complex pathophysiology of GVHD, we used Fas-deficient B6.lpr mice as recipients in a MHC-matched minor histocompatibility Ag-mismatched murine model for GVHD after allogeneic BMT (C3H.SW-->B6). We found a significantly higher morbidity and mortality from GVHD compared with control B6 recipients. In contrast, B6.lpr recipients had very little hepatic GVHD, although all other specific GVHD target organs (skin, intestines, and thymus) were more severely affected than in the control B6 recipients. B6.lpr recipients with GVHD demonstrated intact donor lymphoid engraftment and an increase in expansion of donor T cells and monocytes/macrophages compared with control B6 recipients. Serum levels of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha were higher in B6.lpr recipients than in control B6 recipients, and monocytes/macrophages in B6.lpr recipients appeared more sensitized. B6.lpr recipients had more residual peritoneal macrophages after BMT, and peritoneal macrophages from B6.lpr mice could induce a greater proliferative response from C3H.SW splenocytes. This study demonstrates that the expression of Fas in the recipient is required for GVHD of the liver, but shows unexpected consequences when host tissues lack the expression of Fas for the development of GVHD in other organs and systemic GVHD.