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Graft, Vol. 5, No. 4, 250-255 (2002)
© 2002 SAGE Publications

Graft-versus-Host Disease and Graft-versus-Leukemic Effect in Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplantation: Role of Interferon-{gamma}

Yong-Guang Yang

Megan Sykes

Interferon-{gamma} (IFN-{gamma}), a cytokine produced by activated type 1 T cells (Th1 and Tc1), NK,and NKT cells, is a potent stimulator of cell-mediated immunity. IFN-{gamma} activatesmacrophages and stimulates the activity of NK cells and cytotoxic CD8 T cells and hasbeen considered a pivotal pathogenic factor in acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).However, increasing evidence indicates that this cystokine is not required for, and caninhibit the development of, acute GVHD. Importantly, IFN-{gamma} has been demonstrated tofacilitate the graft-versus-leukemic (GVL) effect of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.Although the mechanisms are incompletely understood at this point, current informationon the role of IFN-{gamma} in regulating the alloreactivity of donor T cells, and in the inductionof GVHD and GVL effects, is reviewed in this article.

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