Virotherapy using Myxoma virus prevents lethal graft-versus-host disease following xeno-transplantation with primary human hematopoietic stem cells

Eric Bartee, Amy Meacham, Elizabeth Wise, Christopher R. Cogle, Grant McFadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a potentially lethal clinical complication arising from the transfer of alloreactive T lymphocytes into immunocompromised recipients. Despite conventional methods of T cell depletion, GVHD remains a major challenge in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant. Here, we demonstrate a novel method of preventing GVHD by ex vivo treatment of primary human hematopoietic cell sources with myxoma virus, a rabbit specific poxvirus currently under development for oncolytic virotherapy. This pretreatment dramatically increases post-transplant survival of immunocompromised mice injected with primary human bone marrow or peripheral blood cells and prevents the expansion of human CD3+ lymphocytes in major recipient organs. Similar viral treatment also prevents human-human mixed alloreactive T lymphocyte reactions in vitro. Our data suggest that ex vivo virotherapy with myxoma virus can be a simple and effective method for preventing GVHD following infusion of hematopoietic products containing alloreactive T lymphocytes such as: allogeneic hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, donor leukocyte infusions and blood transfusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere43298
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 14 2012
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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