CD134 (OX-40) is an activation-associated antigen which functions as a costimulatory receptor for CD4+ T cells. In order to determine the expression of CD134 during immune recovery following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT), we measured its expression on T cells and T cell subsets during the first 100 days following BMT in 26 patients. CD4+CD134+ T could be seen approximately 14 days following BMT cells in patients who did not develop GvHD which required therapy (n = 20). The percentage of CD4+CD134+ cells continued to increase up to the fourth week following BMT to a maximum of 40-50% of CD4+ T cells (normal = 1-8%). Two patients who developed Grade I-II GvHD and who responded to treatment with pulsed high-dose methylprednisolone (MPD) showed a decline of approximately 40% in CD4+CD134+ T cells was seen within 48 hours of treatment. Four patients who developed GvHD that was not responsive to MPD and who later developed high IV GvHD showed increasing CD4+CD134+ T cells up to 85% of the CD4+ T cells. Additionally, rapid increases in CD134+ T cells following antibody-based T cell therapy were associated with GvHD recurrence. In no cases was the percentage of CD134+ CD4+ T cells predictive of clinical GvHD. In this exploratory study, we have shown that CD134, although not predictive of the initial onset of GvHD, may be a useful tool for monitoring the response to early GvHD therapy and identification of patients at risk for reemergence of GvHD who may benefit from anti-T cell therapy. Cytometry (Comm. Clin. Cytometry) 38: 238-243, 1999.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.