Control of organ transplant-associated graft-versus-host disease by activated host lymphocyte infusions

Jürgen Kuball*, Matthias Theobald, Edite Antunes Ferreira, Georg Hess, Jürgen Burg, Giancarlo Maccagno, Ana P. Barreiros, Stefan Lüth, Carl C. Schimanski, Markus Schuchmann, Andreas Schwarting, Markus Neurath, Gerd Otro, Peter R. Galle, Ansgar W. Lohse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Prolonged persistence of donor-derived T cells after organ transplantation has been proposed to improve long-term allograft survival. However, surviving transplant-derived T cells are also able to mediate devastating graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). Currently, GvHD after organ transplantation is usually refractory to conventional therapy and the disease outcome fatal. Methods. Graft-reactive host T cells were generated ex vivo from a patient suffering from a severe and refractory liver-transplant-associated GvHD. To control GvHD, activated alloreactive host T cells were repetitively retransferred into the patient (activated host lymphocyte infusion [aHLI]). Results. Adoptive transfer of ex vivo activated alloreactive host T cells (aHLI) led to the control and complete resolution of severe GvHD without inducing allograft rejection. Conclusions. aHLI opens a novel therapeutic window to control solid-organ transplant-associated GvHD while preserving allograft integrity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1774-1779
Number of pages6
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2004


  • Adoptive T-cell transfer
  • aHLI
  • GvHD
  • Immunology
  • Liver transplantation


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