Impact of pre-transplant anti-T cell globulin (ATG) on immune recovery after myeloablative allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation

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© 2015 Servais et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background: Pre-transplant infusion of rabbit anti-T cell globulin (ATG) is increasingly used as prevention of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT). However, the precise impact of pre-transplant ATG on immune recovery after PBSCT is still poorly documented. Methods: In the current study, we compared immune recovery after myeloablative PBSCT in 65 patients who either received (n = 37) or did not (n = 28) pre-transplant ATG-Fresenius (ATG-F). Detailed phenotypes of circulating T, B, natural killer (NK) and invariant NKT (iNKT) cells were analyzed by multicolor flow cytometry at serial time-points from day 40 to day 365 after transplantation. Thymic function was also assessed by sjTREC quantification. Serious infectious events were collected up to 2 years post-transplantation. Results: Pre-transplant ATG-F had a prolonged (for at least up to 1-year) and selective negative impact on the T-cell pool, while it did not impair the recovery of B, NK nor iNKT cells. Among T cells, ATG-F selectively compromised the recovery of naïve CD4<sup>+</sup>, central memory CD4<sup>+</sup> and naïve CD8<sup>+</sup> cells, while it spared effector memory T and regulatory T cells. Levels of sjTRECs were similar in both cohorts at 1-year after PBSCT, suggesting that ATG-F unlikely impaired thymopoiesis at long-term after PBSCT. Finally, the incidence and rate of serious infections were similar in both groups, while ATG-F patients had a lower incidence of grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease. Conclusions: Pre-transplant ATG-F induces long-lasting modulation of the circulating T-cell pool after myeloablative PBSCT, that may participate in preventing graft-versus-host disease without deeply compromising anti-pathogen defenses.




Servais, S., Menten-Dedoyart, C., Beguin, Y., Seidel, L., Gothot, A., Daulne, C., … Baron, F. (2015). Impact of pre-transplant anti-T cell globulin (ATG) on immune recovery after myeloablative allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. PLoS ONE, 10(6).

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