Susanne Marschner obtained her Ph.D. in 1999 from University of Wurzburg, Germany in collaboration with the Department of Immunology at National Jewish Health. After working for 5 years as a Research Associate in the fi eld of HIV-mediated immune dysfunction with focus on T-cell signaling, she worked at Proneuron, a company developing a novel cell therapy to treat spinal cord injuries. In 2006 she joined Terumo BCT (formerly Gambro BCT or Caridian BCT) as a Senior Scientist in the blood component business segment. Since 2012 she has been leading the Scientifi c Affairs group.


Functional leukocytes in blood components may be responsible for a number of adverse transfusion eff ects, including transfusion-associated graft versus host disease (TA-GvHD), alloimmunization and alloimmune platelet refractoriness. Attempts to reduce these undesirable eff ects have included leukoreduction fi lters and gamma-irradiation. Studies have shown that exposure of platelet concentrates to ribofl avin and light (Mirasol® PRT) causes irreparable modifi cations of nucleic acids that result in inactivation of a wide range of pathogens as well as inhibition of the immunological responses mediated by leukocytes present in platelet concentrates. Th e eff ect of the Mirasol PRT treatment of blood products on WBC function was tested and compared to gamma- irradiation. PRT treatment and gamma-irradiation reduced the ability of the T-cells to proliferate by similar degrees as evidenced by a 6 log reduction in the limiting dilution assay (LDA). Aft er PRT treatment, but not aft er gamma-irradiation, WBCs were unable to present antigen and stimulate proliferation in allogeneic responder cells. PRT treatment resulted in a signifi cantly reduced secretion of cytokines in response to LPS or anti-CD3/28. In contrast, cytokines released by gamma-irradiated WBCs were not signifi cantly diff erent than untreated controls. Xenogeneic GvHD in animals injected with PRT-treated WBCs was prevented, as evidenced by lack of GvHD development, human cell engraft ment, antibody production, and increase in human cytokine. Finally, rat studies suggest that PRT treatment may reduce or eliminate alloantibody generation and alloantibody-mediated cardiac graft rejection, observed as a result of transfusion of leukocytes. Th ese in vitro results demonstrate that Mirasol PRT treatment is more eff ective than gamma irradiation at abrogating selected WBC immune functions.

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