Donor-Derived Regulatory Dendritic Cell Infusion Maintains Donor-Reactive CD4+CTLA4hi T Cells in Non-Human Primate Renal Allograft Recipients Treated with CD28 Co-Stimulation Blockade

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Mohamed B. Ezzelarab ; Lien Lu ; William F. Shufesky ; Adrian E. Morelli ; Adrian E. Morelli ; Angus W. Thomson ; Angus W. Thomson (2018)
  • Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
  • Journal: Frontiers in Immunology (issn: 1664-3224)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00250, doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00250/full
  • Subject: regulatory T cells | dendritic cells | co-stimulation blockade | renal allografts | non-human primates | Immunologic diseases. Allergy | RC581-607

Donor-derived regulatory dendritic cell (DCreg) infusion before transplantation, significantly prolongs renal allograft survival in non-human primates. This is associated with enhanced expression of the immunoregulatory molecules cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen (Ag) 4 (CTLA4) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD1) by host donor-reactive T cells. In rodents and humans, CD28 co-stimulatory pathway blockade with the fusion protein CTLA4:Ig (CTLA4Ig) is associated with reduced differentiation and development of regulatory T cells (Treg). We hypothesized that upregulation of CTLA4 by donor-reactive CD4+ T cells in DCreg-infused recipients treated with CTLA4Ig, might be associated with higher incidences of donor-reactive CD4+ T cells with a Treg phenotype. In normal rhesus monkeys, allo-stimulated CD4+CTLA4hi, but not CD4+CTLA4med/lo T cells exhibited a regulatory phenotype, irrespective of PD1 expression. CTLA4Ig significantly reduced the incidence of CD4+CTLA4hi, but not CD4+CTLA4med/lo T cells following allo-stimulation, associated with a significant reduction in the CD4+CTLA4hi/CD4+CTLA4med/lo T cell ratio. In CTLA4Ig-treated renal allograft recipient monkeys, there was a marked reduction in circulating donor-reactive CD4+CTLA4hi T cells. In contrast, in CTLA4Ig-treated monkeys with DCreg infusion, no such reduction was observed. In parallel, the donor-reactive CD4+CTLA4hi/CD4+CTLA4med/lo T cell ratio was reduced significantly in graft recipients without DCreg infusion, but increased in those given DCreg. These observations suggest that pre-transplant DCreg infusion promotes and maintains donor-reactive CD4+CTLA4hi T cells with a regulatory phenotype after transplantation, even in the presence of CD28 co-stimulation blockade.
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