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Immunity. 2003 Oct;19(4):503-14.

Favorably tipping the balance between cytopathic and regulatory T cells to create transplantation tolerance.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Immunology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Therapeutic application of broadly reactive anti-T cell antibodies can lead not only to potent immunosuppression but also to profound and long-lived T cell depletion. We reasoned that a strategy that almost exclusively targets activated cytopathic donor reactive T cells and spares immunoregulatory networks might prove to be an exceptionally potent and highly selective means of producing long-term engraftment and tolerance. Herein we show that the combined administration of rapamycin and agonist IL-2- and antagonist IL-15-related cytolytic fusion proteins provides for long-term engraftment/tolerance in exceptionally stringent allotransplant models by (1) limiting the early expansion of activated T cells, (2) preserving and even exaggerating their subsequent apoptotic clearance, and (3) further amplifying the depletion of these activated T cells by antibody-dependent mechanisms, while (4) preserving CD4+CD25+ T cell-dependent immunoregulatory networks.

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