HDAC inhibitor reduces cytokine storm and facilitates induction of chimerism that reverses lupus in anti-CD3 conditioning regimen

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Mar 25;105(12):4796-801. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0712051105. Epub 2008 Mar 17.


In allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), donor T cell-mediated graft versus host leukemia (GVL) and graft versus autoimmune (GVA) activity play critical roles in treatment of hematological malignancies and refractory autoimmune diseases. However, graft versus host disease (GVHD), which sometimes can be fatal, remains a major obstacle in classical HCT, where recipients are conditioned with total body irradiation or high-dose chemotherapy. We previously reported that anti-CD3 conditioning allows donor CD8(+) T cells to facilitate engraftment and mediate GVL without causing GVHD. However, the clinical application of this radiation-free and GVHD preventative conditioning regimen is hindered by the cytokine storm syndrome triggered by anti-CD3 and the high-dose donor bone marrow (BM) cells required for induction of chimerism. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors such as suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) are known to induce apoptosis of cancer cells and reduce production of proinflammatory cytokines by nonmalignant cells. Here, we report that SAHA inhibits the proliferative and cytotoxic activity of anti-CD3-activated T cells. Administration of low-dose SAHA reduces cytokine production and ameliorates the cytokine storm syndrome triggered by anti-CD3. Conditioning with anti-CD3 and SAHA allows induction of chimerism with lower doses of donor BM cells in old nonautoimmune and autoimmune lupus mice. In addition, conditioning with anti-CD3 and SAHA allows donor CD8(+) T cell-mediated GVA activity to reverse lupus glomerulonephritis without causing GVHD. These results indicate that conditioning with anti-CD3 and HDAC inhibitors represent a radiation-free and GVHD-preventative regimen with clinical application potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • CD3 Complex / immunology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chimerism / chemically induced
  • Chimerism / drug effects*
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Hydroxamic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Hydroxamic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Lupus Nephritis / immunology*
  • Lupus Nephritis / pathology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Transplantation Conditioning*
  • Vorinostat


  • CD3 Complex
  • Cytokines
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Hydroxamic Acids
  • Vorinostat