Safe and Successful Treatment of Acute Cellular Rejection of an Intestine and Abdominal Wall Transplant With Vedolizumab

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Background. Graft survival rates after intestinal transplantation (ITx) are still the lowest in comparison to other solid organ transplants. One of the main reasons is the frequent occurrence of acute cellular rejection (ACR). Vedolizumab is an antibody against α4β7+ integrin involved in gut-homing of T cells which has been approved for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). We report its off-label use to treat ACR after ITx. Methods. Following abdominal wall transplantation (AWTx) and ITx, clinical course was followed biochemically. Sequential small intestinal biopsies were taken preceding, during, and after ACR treatment with vedolizumab, following the standard therapy regime for IBD. Rejection was diagnosed histologically, and proinflammatory (α4β7+, interleukin-17+) and regulatory (FoxP3+) T cells were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Results. ACR in both the ITx and AWTx resolved upon vedolizumab treatment, which was safe, evidenced by clearing an astrovirus and primary cytomegalovirus infection. Only a slight reduction of α4β7+ cells in the mucosa was observed, and α4β7+ and regulatory T cells could still move into the lamina propria upon infection. Conclusions. Vedolizumab is a safe treatment option for ACR after ITx but its mechanism is probably not only based on inhibition of gut-selective T-cell homing.

Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummere527
Aantal pagina's6
TijdschriftTransplantation direct
Volume6
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
DOI's
StatusPublished - feb-2020

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