BACKGROUND: Graft-versus-host disease is the single most important obstacle facing successful allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). Even with current immunosuppressive therapies, morbidity and mortality rates are high. Current therapies including cyclosporine A (CyA) and related compounds target IL-2 signaling. However, although these compounds offer great benefit, they are also associated with multiple toxicities. Therefore, new compounds with a greater efficacy and reduced toxicity are needed to enable us to overcome this hurdle.

METHODS: The allogeneic mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) is a unique ex vivo method to study a drug's action on the initial events resulting in T-cell activation and proliferation, synonymous to the initial stages of tissue and organ destruction by T-cell responses in organ rejection and Graft-versus-host disease. Using this approach, we examined the effectiveness of two ribonucleotide reductase inhibitors (RRI), Didox and Trimidox, to inhibit T-cell activation and proliferation.

RESULTS: The compounds caused a marked reduction in the proliferative responses of T-cells, which is also accompanied by decreased secretion of cytokines IL-6, IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, IL-2, IL-13, IL-10 and IL-4.

CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, these data provide critical information to justify further investigation into the potential use of these compounds post allogeneic bone marrow transplantation to alleviate graft-versus-host disease thereby achieving better outcomes.

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Published in Journal of Inflammation, v. 7, 43.

© 2010 Inayat et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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