The metabolic profile of reconstituting T-cells, NK-cells, and monocytes following autologous stem cell transplantation and its impact on outcome

Document Type
Issue Date
Issue Year
Richter, Silja
Böttcher, Martin
Völkl, Simon
Mackensen, Andreas
Ullrich, Evelyn
Jacobs, Benedikt
Mougiakakos, Dimitrios
Springer Nature

Previous studies indicated a role of the reconstituting immune system for disease outcome upon high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and autologous stem cell transplantation (auto-SCT) in multiple myeloma (MM) and lymphoma patients. Since immune cell metabolism and function are closely interconnected, we used flow-cytometry techniques to analyze key components and functions of the metabolic machinery in reconstituting immune cells upon HDCT/auto-SCT. We observed increased proliferative activity and an upregulation of the glycolytic and fatty acid oxidation (FAO) machinery in immune cells during engraftment. Metabolic activation was more pronounced in T-cells of advanced differentiation stages, in CD56bright NK-cells, and CD14++CD16+ intermediate monocytes. Next, we investigated a potential correlation between the immune cells’ metabolic profile and early progression or relapse in lymphoma patients within the first twelve months following auto-SCT. Here, persistently increased metabolic parameters correlated with a rather poor disease course. Taken together, reconstituting immune cells display an upregulated bioenergetic machinery following auto-SCT. Interestingly, a persistently enhanced metabolic immune cell phenotype correlated with reduced PFS. However, it remains to be elucidated, if the clinical data can be confirmed within a larger set of patients and if residual malignant cells not detected by conventional means possibly caused the metabolic activation.

Journal Title
Scientific Reports
Scientific Reports 12 (2022): 11406. <>