Background: Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a main complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Human leukocyte antigen G (HLA-G) is a non-classical class I molecule exerting multiple immunoregulatory functions. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between soluble HLA-G (sHLA-G) and GVHD after allo-HSCT. Methods: The sHLA-G levels were examined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in patients with hematological malignancies (n = 106) before transplantation, on days +15 and +30 after transplantation, as well as healthy volunteers (n = 10). Results: The levels of sHLA-G5, sHLA-G6 and sHLA-G7 in patients on days +15 and +30 after transplantation were all significantly higher than those before transplantation (all p ≤ 0.001). The increased levels of sHLA-G5 on days +15 and +30 after transplantation were both significantly higher in patients with grade 0-I acute GVHD (aGVHD) compared to those with grade II-IV aGVHD (both p < 0.001). The increased levels of sHLA-G5 on days +15 and +30 after transplantation were both negatively correlated with the severity of aGVHD (both p < 0.001). Conclusion: sHLA-G5 might be a predictor of the occurrence and severity of aGVHD, which may help to establish individual prophylaxis against aGVHD and improve the survival for patients after allo-HSCT.

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