Peking University People's Hospital and Peking University Institute of Hematology, Beijing Key Laboratory of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Beijing, China; Beijing Engineering Lab for Cell Therapy, Beijing, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is an immunosuppressive agent that is widely used in graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis because of its inhibitory function on T cells and B cells. However, the effect of MMF on natural killer cell reconstitution after allogenic hematological transplantation is largely unknown. The present study examined the effects of different MMF administration durations after haploidentical allo-HSCT on NK cell reconstitution. Ninety patients were enrolled in this study and defined into two groups in term of MMF duration. We found that MMF patients in the long-term MMF group were associated with a poor reconstitution of NK cells and a significantly lower cytotoxicity from day 30 to day 180 post-transplantation. Especially, the long-term MMF group inhibits reconstitution of NKp30 NK subsets, which correlated with higher risk of EBV viremia. Multivariate analysis showed that a better reconstitution of NKp30 cells was associated with lower EBV viremia (HR0.957, p = .04). In vitro experiments demonstrated that the active metabolite of MMF, mycophenolic acid (MPA), inhibited the proliferation and cytotoxicity of NK cells from healthy donors or patients at day 30 post-transplantation. In summary, our findings demonstrated that long-term MMF administration delayed the quality and quantity of NK cells, especially NKp30 subpopulations, which was associated with decreased EBV viremia post allogeneic HSCT.