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Transplant Proc. 2005 May;37(4):1808-11.

Calcineurin inhibitors block B-1 cell differentiation: the relevance to immunosuppressive treatment in ABO-incompatible transplantation.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Frontier Medical Science, Programs for Biomedical Research, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University, Kasumi, Hiroshima, Japan.


Naturally occurring antibodies (Abs) against human blood group A/B-carbohydrate determinants are a major barrier to ABO-incompatible organ transplantation. We previously described that B cells recognizing the blood group A antigens (Ag) belong to a CD5+ B-1a cell subset that exists in blood group O human peripheral blood as well as in mice Recent evidence suggests that B-1a cells are selected by a T-independent type 2 (TI-2) Ag with repetitive arrays of epitopes which can promote BCR cross-linking. In support of the induced-differentiation model, CD5 can be induced on spleen B-2 cells in vitro after stimulation via surface IgM receptors, an induction that is blocked by cyclosporine (CsA). We examined whether mouse peritoneal cavity CD5+ B-1a cells could be reduced by CsA/tacrolimus. For 2 weeks, daily intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of various doses of CsA/tacrolimus decreased the percentage of PerC CD5+ B-1a cells and increased B-2 cells in a dose-dependent fashion. However, this treatment had no impact on anti-A Abs, suggesting that Ab-producing cells may be resistant to calcineurin inhibitors. We speculate that specific elimination of the anti-A Ab-producing cells with subsequent CsA/tacrolimus therapy might induce lasting inhibition of anti-A Ab production in ABO-incompatible organ transplantation.

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