T and B lymphocyte dynamics after genetically-modified pig-to-baboon kidney xenotransplantation with an anti-CD40mAb-based immunosuppressive regimen

Academic Article


  • Background: The aim was to monitor recovery of T/B lymphocytes in baboons after depletion by anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) and anti-CD20mAb (Rituximab), followed by pig kidney transplantation and maintenance therapy with an anti-CD40mAb-based regimen. Methods: In baboons (n = 14), induction was with ATG and anti-CD20mAb, and maintenance with (i) anti-CD40mAb, (ii) rapamycin, and (iii) methylprednisolone. Follow-up was for 6 months, or until rejection or other complication developed. Baboon blood was collected at intervals to measure T/B cells and subsets by flow cytometry. In a separate study in baboons receiving the same immunosuppressive regimen (n = 10), the populations of T/B lymphocytes in PBMCs, lymph nodes, and spleen were examined. Results: After induction therapy, the total lymphocyte count and the absolute numbers of CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+T cells fell by >80%, and no CD22+B cells remained (all p < 0.001). T cell numbers began to recover early, but no CD22+B cells were present in the blood for 2 months. Recovery of both T and B cells remained at <30% of baseline (p < 0.001), even if rejection developed. At 6 months, effector memory CD8+T cells had increased more than other T cell subsets, but a greater percentage of B cells were na├»ve. In contrast to blood and spleen, T and B cells were not depleted in lymph nodes. Conclusions: ATG and anti-CD20mAb effectively decreased T and B lymphocytes in the blood and, in the presence of anti-CD40mAb maintenance therapy, recovery of these cells was inhibited. The recovery of effector memory CD8+T cells may be detrimental to long-term graft survival.
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    Author List

  • Jagdale A; Nguyen H; Iwase H; Foote JB; Yamamoto T; Javed M; Ayares D; Anderson DJ; Eckhoff DE; Cooper DKC
  • Volume

  • 71