Administration of agonistic monoclonal antibodies or recombinant cytokines is a potential approach to enhance antitumor immunity in bone marrow (BM) transplant recipients, but is complicated by toxicity due to proinflammatory cytokine-mediated vital organ damage. We used a murine syngeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT) model, in which administration of anti-CD40 antibody early after BMT results in overproduction of interleukin-12 (IL-12) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and lethal gut toxicity to examine the protective effect of the spin trap inhibitor, alpha phenyl-tert-butyl nitrone (PBN). Administration of PBN protected transplant recipients from mortality by significantly attenuating gut toxicity, but did not effect a reduction in the levels of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-12, IFN-γ, tumor necrosis factor α [TNF-α], or nitrate/nitrite). Moreover, PBN did not compromise anti-CD40 antibody-mediated antitumor effects in a nontransplantation lymphoma model. Collectively, these data suggest that PBN administration may represent a novel approach for reduction of toxicity without compromise of antitumor effects resulting from administration of therapeutic antibodies in both transplantation and nontransplantation settings.
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