The role of AMP-activated protein kinase in GVHD-causing T cells.

07 Oct 2022
Ramgopal A, Sun LK, Byersdorfer CA

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is a curative therapy for multiple hematologic disorders. However, this life-saving procedure is often complicated by acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), where donor T cells attack tissues in the recipient's skin, liver, and gastrointestinal tract. Previous research has demonstrated that GVHD-causing T cells undergo significant metabolic reprogramming during disease pathogenesis, with an increased reliance on oxidative metabolism. This dependence makes metabolic modulation a potential approach to treat and/or prevent GVHD. Here, we provide an overview on the metabolic changes adopted by allogeneic T cells during disease initiation, highlighting the role played by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and identifying ways in which these insights might be leveraged to therapeutic advantage clinically.