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Transpl Int. 2013 Feb;26(2):206-18. doi: 10.1111/tri.12021. Epub 2012 Dec 13.

Anti-LFA-1 or rapamycin overcome costimulation blockade-resistant rejection in sensitized bone marrow recipients.

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Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


While costimulation blockade-based mixed chimerism protocols work well for inducing tolerance in rodents, translation to preclinical large animal/nonhuman primate models has been less successful. One recognized cause for these difficulties is the high frequency of alloreactive memory T cells (Tmem) found in the (pre)clinical setting as opposed to laboratory mice. In the present study, we therefore developed a murine bone marrow transplantation (BMT) model employing recipients harboring polyclonal donor-reactive Tmem without concomitant humoral sensitization. This model was then used to identify strategies to overcome this additional immune barrier. We found that B6 recipients that were enriched with 3 × 10(7) T cells isolated from B6 mice that had been previously grafted with Balb/c skin, rejected Balb/c BM despite costimulation blockade with anti-CD40L and CTLA4Ig (while recipients not enriched developed chimerism). Adjunctive short-term treatment of sensitized BMT recipients with rapamycin or anti-LFA-1 mAb was demonstrated to be effective in controlling Tmem in this model, leading to long-term mixed chimerism and donor-specific tolerance. Thus, rapamycin and anti-LFA-1 mAb are effective in overcoming the potent barrier that donor-reactive Tmem pose to the induction of mixed chimerism and tolerance despite costimulation blockade.

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