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Surgery. 2002 Aug;132(2):149-56.

Targeted gene therapy with CD40Ig to induce long-term acceptance of liver allografts.

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  • 1Division of Transplantation Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, 94143, USA.



The purpose of this study was to modulate the immune response of rat liver transplant recipients by adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of CD40Ig, a secretable fusion protein designed to block the CD40-CD154 T-cell costimulation pathway.


CD40Ig complementary DNA was created by joining the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction complementary DNA products for the extracellular domain of murine CD40 to the Fc portion of murine IgG2a. AdCD40Ig and AdSIg (IgG2a-Fc control) recombinant adenoviruses were used to transduce donor liver grafts before nonarterialized orthotopic rat liver transplantation. Donor specific unresponsiveness was examined with skin transplants.


All rats (n = 6) that received liver allografts transduced with AdCD40Ig survived >100 days with normal liver histology. Serum levels of CD40Ig at 10, 30, 60, and 100 days after transplantation ranged from 100 to 500, 100 to 250, 5 to 40, and 2 to 10 microg/mL, respectively. Mean survival of rats (n = 4) that received liver allografts transduced with AdSIg control adenovirus was 9.25 +/- 2.9 days. Long-term survivors were rechallenged with skin grafts 100 days after liver transplantations. Survival was 72, >100 (x4) days for donor specific allogeneic skin grafts and 14, 14, 18, 19, and 21 days for third-party allogeneic skin grafts.


Adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of CD40Ig into cold-preserved liver allografts before transplantation results in high levels of transgene expression with resultant long-term survival of hepatic allografts and donor specific unresponsiveness.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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