The occurrence of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) and tumor relapse represent the two major obstacles impeding the efficacy of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in cancer. We have previously shown that the synthetic triterpenoid 2-cyano-3, 12-dioxooleana-1, 9-dien-28-oic acid (CDDO) can inhibit murine early aGVHD, but antitumor effects were not assessed. In the current study, we found that a new derivative of CDDO, CDDO-Me, had an increased ability to inhibit allogeneic T cell responses and induce cell death of alloreactive T cells in vitro. Administration of CDDO-Me to mice following allogeneic BMT resulted in significant and increased protection from lethal aGVHD compared to CDDO. This correlated with reduced TNF-α production, reduced donor T cell proliferation, and decreased adhesion molecule (α4β7 integrin) expression on the donor T cells. CDDO-Me was also superior to CDDO in inhibiting leukemia growth in vitro. When CDDO-Me was administered following an allogeneic BMT to leukemia-bearing mice, significant increases in survival were observed. These findings suggest that CDDO-Me is superior to CDDO in delaying aGVHD, while preserving or possibly even augmenting GVT effects.
- Allogenetic bone marrow transplantation
- Graft-versus-host disease
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