The central nervous system is a target of acute graft versus host disease in mice Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Central Nervous System Diseases
  • Graft vs Host Disease
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Postoperative Complications
  • T-Lymphocytes


  • Despite significant advances in prevention and management, graft versus host disease (GVHD) is still a leading complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Although skin, gut, liver, thymus, and lung are GVHD targets, neurological complications (NC) have also been reported following allo-HSCT. We demonstrate that the central nervous system (CNS) can be a direct target of alloreactive T cells following allo-HSCT in mice. We found significant infiltration of the CNS with donor T lymphocytes and cell death of neurons and neuroglia in allo-HSCT recipients with GVHD. We also found that allo-HSCT recipients with GVHD had deficits in spatial learning/memory and demonstrated increased anxious behavior. These findings highlight CNS sensitivity to damage caused by alloreactive donor T cells and represent the first characterization of target cell subsets and NC during GVHD. Therefore, these clinically relevant studies offer a novel and rational explanation for the well-described neurological symptoms observed after allo-HSCT.

publication date

  • March 7, 2013



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC3591808

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1182/blood-2012-09-456590

PubMed ID

  • 23299314

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1906

end page

  • 10


  • 121


  • 10