Ablation and regeneration of tolerance-inducing medullary thymic epithelial cells after cyclosporine, cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone treatment

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Fletcher, Anne L, Lowen, Tamara E, Sakkal, Samy, Reiseger, Jessica J, Hammett, Maree V, Seach, Natalie, Scott, Hamish S, Boyd, Richard L and Chidgey, Ann P (2009) Ablation and regeneration of tolerance-inducing medullary thymic epithelial cells after cyclosporine, cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone treatment. Journal of Immunology, 183 (2). pp. 823-831. ISSN 0022-1767 (print) 1550-6606 (online)

Abstract

Immunosuppressive drugs and cytotoxic chemotherapy agents are designed to kill or suppress autoreactive, alloaggressive, or hyperinflammatory T cells, or disseminated malignancies. However, they also cause severe immunological side effects ranging from interrupted thymopoiesis and general immunodeficiency to, paradoxically, autoimmunity. Consistent with the cross-talk between thymocytes and stromal cells, we now show that these common therapeutic agents have major effects on murine thymic epithelial cells (TEC), crucially required to rebuild immunity posttreatment. We show that the immunosuppressant cyclosporine A, which has been linked to a thymus-dependent autoimmune syndrome in some patients, causes extensive loss of autoimmune regulator (Aire+) tolerance-inducing MHC class IIhigh medullary TEC (mTEChigh). Post-cyclosporine A, Aire expression was restored within 7 days. Full recovery of the mTEChigh subset occurred within 10 days and was linked to a decrease in a relatively resistant MHC class IIlow mTEC subset (mTEClow), consistent with a previously described precursor-product relationship. Cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone caused more extensive ablation of thymocytes and stromal cells but again severely depleted tolerance-inducing mTEChigh. Together, these data show that Aire+ mTECs are highly sensitive to damage and that mTEC regeneration follows a conserved pattern regardless of the treatment regimen used.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/7830
DOI https://doi.org/10.4049/​jimmunol.0900225
Official URL http://www.jimmunol.org/content/183/2/823.abstract
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Biomedical and Health Sciences
Historical > FOR Classification > 1107 Immunology
Keywords ResPubID22582. CsA, mTEC, cytometry, immunosuppression, cytoablative chemotherapy, thymus, immunosuppresion, immune system, mice
Citations in Scopus 61 - View on Scopus
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