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Cell Transplant. 2013;22(10):1929-41. doi: 10.3727/096368912X658025. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Selective depletion of alloreactive T cells leads to long-term islet allograft survival across a major histocompatibility complex mismatch in diabetic mice.

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Centre for Kidney Research, the Children's Hospital at Westmead, the University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Islet cell transplantation as a therapy for type 1 diabetes has been limited by progressive graft loss. Significant immunosuppression including T-cell ablation has been used in an attempt to limit islet rejection. Here, we show that CD3(+) lymphocytes depleted of alloreactive T cells selected from a mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR), where responder BALB/c splenocytes stained with carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE) were stimulated with irradiated C57BL/6 splenocytes for 5 days, infused into diabetic immunodeficient mice are capable of restoring a broad T-cell repertoire and specifically do not reject islet transplants from the strain (C57BL/6) used in the original depletion. These mice demonstrate reconstitution with CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, the capacity to reject third-party grafts (CBA), and restoration of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) responses to third-party alloantigens. Over time, both forkhead box P3-positive (Foxp3(+)) T regulatory cells (Tregs) and γδ T cells expand, suggesting a role for peripheral tolerance, in addition to the initial depletion of alloreactive T cells, in long-term islet graft survival. Our results suggest that immune restoration with CD3(+) lymphocytes where alloreactive T cells are removed can restore cognate immunity without islet allograft loss and recurrence of diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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