PLoS One 2017 30;12(8):e0183828. Epub 2017 Aug 30.
Dept. of Hematology, Hemostasis, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.
Alloreactive CD8+ T-cells mediate the curative graft-versus-leukaemia effect, the anti-viral immunity and graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD) after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). Thus, immune reconstitution with CD8+ T-cells is critical for the outcome of patients after allogeneic SCT. Certain miRNAs such as miR-146a or miR-155 play an important role in the regulation of post-transplant immunity in mice. While some miRNAs e.g. miR-423 or miR-155 are regulated in plasma or full blood during acute GvHD also in man, the relevance and expression profile of miRNAs in T-cells after allogeneic SCT is unknown. miR-625-3p has recently been described to be overexpressed in colorectal malignancies where it promotes migration, invasion and apoptosis resistance. Since similar regulative functions in cancer and T-cells have been described for an increasing number of miRNAs, we assumed a role for the cancer-related miR-625-3p also in T-cells. Here, we studied miR-625-3p expression selectively in CD8+ T-cells both in vitro and during immune reconstitution after allogeneic SCT in man. T-cell receptor stimulation lead to miR-625-3p upregulation in human CD8+ T-cells in vitro. Maintenance of elevated miR-625-3p expression levels was dependent on ongoing T-cell proliferation and was abrogated by withdrawal of interleukin 2 or the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin. Finally, miR-625-3p expression was analyzed in human CD8+ T-cells purified from 137 peripheral blood samples longitudinally collected from 74 patients after allogeneic SCT. miR-625-3p expression was upregulated on day 25 and on day 45, i.e. during the early phase of CD8+ T-cell reconstitution after allogeneic SCT and subsequently declined with completion of CD8+ T-cell reconstitution until day 150. In conclusion, this study has shown for the first time that miR-625-3p is regulated in CD8+ T-cells during proliferation in vitro and during early immune reconstitution after allogeneic SCT in vivo. These results warrant further studies to identify the targets and function of miR-625-3p in CD8+ T-cells and to analyze its predictive value for an effective immune reconstitution.