Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a multistep disease process following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT). It has been postulated that the induction of acute GVHD requires the presence of Peyer patches (PPs). A new tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-deficient strain has been developed that totally lacks PPs and displays the defects characteristic of TNF ablation but not lymphotoxin-associated defects characterized by lack of both PPs and lymph nodes. To determine the necessity of PPs in acute lethal GVHD induction, we transplanted full major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-mismatched grafts into myeloablated TNF knockout recipients. No differences in the survival or GVHD-associated histopathologic lesions were observed between the recipients. We conclude that neither PPs nor host TNF-α is required for the development of acute lethal GVHD in mice that undergo myeloablative conditioning and allogeneic BMT.
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