Induction of allograft tolerance through costimulatory blockade: first selection of drugs in vitro

MPM Vierboom*, M Ossevoort, EA Sick, K Haanstra, M Jonker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The development of an in vitro assay predicting the chances of graft survival after treatment with immunoregulatory agents is a major topic in transplantation. Antibodies (Abs) interfering in the costimulatory pathway are promising candidates for the induction of tolerance. To evaluate these antibodies for clinical use studies non-human primates are the only feasible option due to species specificity of the antibodies. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells, isolated from a large panel of rhesus monkeys, were used in a unidirectional mixed lymphocyte reaction to evaluate the ability of antibodies blocking the costimulatory pathway, to affect both primary and secondary proliferative and cytolytic allospecific immune responses in vitro. These blocking antibodies were also used in protocols prolonging allograft survival in a life-supporting kidney allotransplant model in rhesus macaques. The ultimate aim is to establish a correlation between parameters obtained in vitro and the success of transplantation in vivo. The combination of anti-CD80 and anti-CD86 resulted in a complete abrogation of the primary alloresponse as measured in a proliferation assay. Adding anti-CD40 significantly reduced this inhibitory effect although the in vivo effects of this antibody have been shown to be beneficial. The secondary response was most prominently inhibited by the combination of anti-CD80/86. Paradoxically, anti-CD40 alone markedly inhibited the secondary proliferative response, but did not add to the inhibitory effect of the combination of anti-CD80/86. The cytolytic response was inhibited maximally only when CsA was added to the combination of anti-CD80/86. Treatment with monoclonal antibodies alone without immunosuppressive drugs was sufficient to maintain graft survival during the time of treatment in most animals. However, rejection was initiated as soon as the treatment ceased and no tolerance, resulting in long-term graft and patient survival, was established. The-complete inhibition of primary alloresponses and the partial inhibition of secondary proliferative alloresponses correlate with prolonged graft survival during treatment, but have no predictive value for the success of tolerance induction for kidney allografts in rhesus monkeys. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberPII S0966-3274(03)00009-1
Pages (from-to)215-222
Number of pages8
JournalTransplant immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • rhesus monkey
  • costimulatory blockade
  • alloresponse
  • B7-1 CD80
  • CD28


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