T cells require TRAIL for optimal graft-versus-tumor activity Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Graft vs Tumor Effect
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha


  • Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a member of the TNF superfamily that exhibits specific tumoricidal activity against a variety of tumors. It is expressed on different cells of the immune system and plays a role in natural killer cell-mediated tumor surveillance. In allogeneic hematopoietic-cell transplantation, the reactivity of the donor T cell against malignant cells is essential for the graft-versus-tumor (GVT) effect. Cytolytic activity of T cells is primarily mediated through the Fas-Fas ligand and perforin-granzyme pathways. However, T cells deficient for both Fas ligand and perforin can still exert GVT activity in vivo in mouse models. To uncover a potential role for TRAIL in donor T cell-mediated GVT activity, we compared donor T cells from TRAIL-deficient and wild-type mice in clinically relevant mouse bone-marrow transplantation models. We found that alloreactive T cells can express TRAIL, but the absence of TRAIL had no effect on their proliferative and cytokine response to alloantigens. TRAIL-deficient T cells showed significantly lower GVT activity than did TRAIL-expressing T cells, but no important differences in graft-versus-host disease, a major complication of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation, were observed. These data suggest that strategies to enhance TRAIL-mediated GVT activity could decrease relapse rates of malignancies after hematopoietic cell transplantation without exacerbation of graft-versus-host disease.

publication date

  • December 2002



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/nm797

PubMed ID

  • 12426560

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1433

end page

  • 7


  • 8


  • 12