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Transplant Proc. 2013 Jun;45(5):1832-7. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2013.01.073.

Donor-specific regulatory T cells generated on donor B cells are superior to CD4+CD25high cells in controlling alloimmune responses in humanized mice.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Endocrinology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.


CD4(+)CD25highFOXP3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) can control allospecific immune responses in vitro and in titrated lymphopenic transplantation models. However, under non-lymphopenic conditions, as seen in patients with autoimmune diseases or after organ transplantation, polyspecific Tregs so far have been largely ineffective to control immune responses in animal models. Yet currently polyspecific CD4(+)CD25high Tregs are being tested in clinical trials. Donor materials are usually limited for the generation of donor-specific Tregs. Herein we have developed a method to produce large quantities of activated donor B cells by stimulation of donor peripheral blood mononuclear cells with 3T3 fibroblasts expressing CD40L. These activated donor B cells are potent stimulators of CD4(+)CD25high Tregs, which were expanded efficiently to inhibit an allo-MLR in donor-specific fashion. They were far more potent in inhibiting alloimmune responses in humanized mice compared with the polyspecific CD4(+)CD25high Tregs. Generation of donor-specific Tregs could be performed under good manufacturing practice conditions. Donor-reactive Tregs may be a valuable tool to control immune responses after transplantation a setting in which polyspecific Tregs have failed to date.

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