Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infections remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The adoptive transfer of donor-derived viral-specific cytotoxic T-cells (VSTs) is an effective treatment for controlling CMV and EBV infections after HSCT; however, new practical methods are required to augment the ex vivo manufacture of multi-VSTs from healthy donors. This study investigated the effects of a single exercise bout on the ex vivo manufacture of multi-VSTs. PBMCs isolated from healthy CMV/EBV seropositive participants before (PRE) and immediately after (POST) 30-minutes of cycling exercise were stimulated with CMV (pp65 and IE1) and EBV (LMP2A and BMLF1) peptides and expanded over 8 days. The number (fold difference from PRE) of T-cells specific for CMV pp65 (2.6), EBV LMP2A (2.5), and EBV BMLF1 (4.4) was greater among the VSTs expanded POST. VSTs expanded PRE and POST had similar phenotype characteristics and were equally capable of MHC-restricted killing of autologous target cells. We conclude that a single exercise bout enhances the manufacture of multi-VSTs from healthy donors without altering their phenotype or function and may serve as a simple and economical adjuvant to boost the production of multi-VSTs for allogeneic adoptive transfer immunotherapy.
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