Extracellular Vesicles at Engraftment Predict Acute GVHD

By Patrick Daly - Last Updated: November 23, 2022

A potential predictive biomarker for acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is extracellular vesicles (EVs), which are inversions of the phospholipid bilayer of various cells that have been implicated in cellular damage, activation, and intercellular signaling.

In a recent study, published in Experimental Hematology, researchers evaluated EVs and found cell-derived EV levels at engraftment could be used as a potential preemptive biomarker for aGVHD in allogeneic stem-cell transplantations.

Cell-Derived EVs Could Be Prognostic Markers for GVHD

The study included 40 patients undergoing transplantation for hematological malignancies who had plasma samples collected at neutrophil engraftment.

Researchers established total circulating EV count (TEV), platelet-derived EV (PEV), and erythrocyte-derived EV (EryEV) using flow cytometry-measured annexin V, CD61, and CD235 positivity, respectively.

According to the study, TEV counts above 516 per μL (54% vs 21%; P=.02) and EryEV counts above 357 per μL (59% vs 26%; P=.04) were associated with a higher cumulative incidence of grade II-IV aGVHD.

In addition, the correlation between these TEV and EryEV counts and aGVHD was stronger in patients who received reduced intensity conditioning regimens. PEV counts were not associated with increased incidence of aGVHD.

Overall, the authors summarized that “measurement of cell-derived EV at engraftment can be used as a preemptive biomarker for acute GVHD.”

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