Background: In the pig-to-nonimmunosuppressed baboon artery patch model, a graft from an α1,3-galactosyltransferase gene-knockout pig transgenic for human CD46 (GTKO/CD46) induces a significant adaptive immune response (elicited anti-pig antibody response, increase in T cell proliferation on MLR, cellular infiltration of the graft), which is effectively prevented by anti-CD154mAb-based therapy. Methods: As anti-CD154mAb is currently not clinically applicable, we evaluated whether it could be replaced by CD28/B7 pathway blockade or by blockade of both pathways (using belatacept + anti-CD40mAb [2C10R4]). We further investigated whether a patch from a GTKO/CD46 pig with a mutant human MHC class II transactivator (CIITA-DN) gene would allow reduction in the immunosuppressive therapy administered. Results: When grafts from GTKO/CD46 pigs were transplanted with blockade of both pathways, a minimal or insignificant adaptive response was documented. When a GTKO/CD46/CIITA-DN graft was transplanted, but no immunosuppressive therapy was administered, a marked adaptive response was documented. In the presence of CD28/B7 pathway blockade (abatacept or belatacept), there was a weak adaptive response that was diminished when compared with that to a GTKO/CD46 graft. Blockade of both pathways prevented an adaptive response. Conclusion: Although expression of the mutant MHC CIITA-DN gene was associated with a reduced adaptive immune response when immunosuppressive therapy was inadequate, when blockade of both the CD40/CD154 and CD28/B7 pathways was present, the response even to a GTKO/CD46 graft was suppressed. This was confirmed after GTKO/CD46 heart transplantation in baboons.
- Anti-CD40 monoclonal antibody
- Artery patch
- Costimulation blockade
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy