Dual-Sensitized T-Cells Responding to EBV Blcl and Either CMVpp65 or WT-1 Peptide Pools Have Distinct or Shared HLA Restrictions That May Depend on the Presenting HLA Alleles

Ekaterina Doubrovina, Aisha N. Hasan, Susan Prockop, Karim Baroudy and Richard O'Reilly


Adoptive Immunotherapy with virus-specific T-cells generated from transplant or third party donors can induce durable remissions of severe infections or EBV lymphomas post-transplant. T-cells sensitized with antigens from multiple viruses have also shown promise. However, in any individual donor, immunogenic peptides from different viruses might be expected to elicit T-cell responses restricted by different HLA alleles. In HLA non-identical patients, the efficacy of T-cells reactive against any one virus would be eliminated if the T-cells specific for that virus are restricted by an HLA allele not shared by the patient.

To examine this hypothesis, we evaluated the HLA restrictions of T-cells generated from 42 healthy donors after dual sensitization with either autologous EBV-transformed B-cells (EBVBLCL) loaded with a pool of overlapping 15-mer peptides spanning the sequence of CMVpp65 (n=20) or autologous EBVBLCL loaded with a pool of 15-mers spanning the oncofetal protein WT-1 (n=22). The HLA restrictions of the CMVpp65-specific and WT1 specific T cells were assessed by their cytotoxic activity against a panel of Cr51 labeled dendritic cells sharing a single HLA allele with the T cells donor. The EBV restrictions of the dual sensitized EBV CTLs were identified by their cytotoxic activity against EBV BLCLs sharing the same single HLA alleles derived from the same donors. In 13/20 CMVpp65/EBV sensitized T cells (65%) and 17/22 WT1/EBV sensitized T cells (77%) the CMV or WT1 specific T cell lines were restricted by single HLA alleles. In 10 of the 20 (50%) lines sensitized with EBV BLCL and CMVpp65, CMVpp65 specific T cells were restricted by an HLA allele that was also one of the restricting alleles for EBV CTLs in the same line. However, in the other 10(50%) the CMVpp65 T cells were restricted by an HLA allele different from that of the EBV CTLs. In the 22 lines co-sensitized with EBV and WT1, WT1 specific T cells were restricted by an allele different from those of the EBV CTLs in 13 (59%) lines.

Comparison of EBVCTLs from dual sensitized T cell lines with EBVCTLs contemporaneously generated from the same donors but sensitized with EBV BLCL alone revealed that in 2/4 CMVpp65/EBV lines and 2/5 WT1/EBV lines in which the HLA restriction of CMVpp65 or WT1 specific T cells differed from that of EBV T cells in the same culture, the HLA allele differentially presenting the CMV or WT1 antigen but not an EBV antigen in the dual sensitized cultures was a prominent restricting allele of T cells sensitized with an autologous EBV BLCL alone.

In our bank of 135 CMVpp65-specific T-cells sensitized with autologous APCs loaded with the same pool of overlapping CMVpp65 peptides, T-cells specific for epitopes presented by HLA B0702 were dominant in 33/34 donors inheriting this allele. Furthermore, for T-cell lines generated from 50 donors inheriting HLA A0201, HLA A0201 restricted T-cells specific for the NLV peptide of CMVpp65 were dominant for all lines except those 13 that co-inherited HLA B0702.

Disclosures Doubrovina: Atara Biotherapeutics: Consultancy, Patents & Royalties, Research Funding. Hasan: GlaxoSmithKline: Employment. Prockop: Atara Biotherapeutics: Research Funding; Mesoblast: Research Funding. O'Reilly: Atara Biotherapeutics: Consultancy, Patents & Royalties, Research Funding.

  • * Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.