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Islets. 2012 Jul-Aug;4(4):284-95. doi: 10.4161/isl.21239. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

Blockade of both B7-H4 and CTLA-4 co-signaling pathways enhances mouse islet allograft survival.

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Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Costimulation blockade is an effective way to prevent allograft rejection. In this study, we tested the efficacy of two negative co-signaling molecules in protecting islet allograft function. We used local expression of B7-H4 by adenoviral transduction of islets (Ad-B7-H4) and systemic administration of CTLA-4.Ig to investigate the outcomes of allograft survival. Five groups of streptozotocin-induced diabetic C57BL/6 mice received 400 islets each from BALB/c donors. The groups consisted of control (G1); CTLA-4.Ig (G2); Ad-LacZ (G3); Ad-B7-H4 (G4); and Ad-B7-H4 and CTLA-4.Ig combined (G5). G1 and G3 developed graft failure on average of two weeks. G2, G4 and G5 survived for 43.8 ± 34.8, 54.7 ± 31.2 and 77.8 ± 21.5 d, respectively. Activated T and B cells in the lymph nodes were significantly controlled by CTLA-4.Ig treatment. Significantly reduced infiltrates were also detected in the allografts of G2 compared with G1. By contrast, B7-H4 significantly inhibited Th1-associated IFN-gamma secretion in the early stage and increased Foxp3 (+) T cells in the long-term surviving allografts. Our study suggests that CTLA-4 and B7-H4 inhibit alloimmune responses through distinct mechanisms, and that combination therapy which activates two negative co-signaling pathways can further enhance islet allograft survival.

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