Superiority of rapamycin over tacrolimus in preserving nonhuman primate Treg half-life and phenotype after adoptive transfer.
Many critical issues remain concerning how best to deploy adoptive regulatory T cell (Treg) immunotherapy to the clinic. These include a determination of their pharmacokinetic characteristics, their optimal dose, their phenotypic stability and the best therapies with which to pair Tregs. By performing a CFSE-labeled autologous Treg pulse experiment, we determined that the accessible peripheral blood Treg pool in rhesus macaques is quite large (75 ± 11 × 10(6) Tregs/kg). Pharmacokinetic analysis revealed that Tregs have two phases of elimination: an α phase, with a T1/2 in the peripheral blood of 32.4 ± 11.3 h and a β phase with a T1/2 of 120.4 ± 19.7 h. In addition to their short initial half-life, Tregs underwent rapid phenotypic shifts after infusion, with significant loss of both CD25 and FoxP3 by day +6. While tacrolimus stabilized CD25 expression, it did not improve T1/2 , nor mitigate the loss of FoxP3. In contrast, rapamycin significantly stabilized both CD25 and FoxP3, and supported an increased half-life, with an α phase of 67.7 ± 6.9 h and a β phase of 252.1 ± 54.9 h. These results suggest that rapamycin may be a necessary addition to Treg immunotherapy, and that tacrolimus may be deleterious to Treg integrity posttransfer.
Singh, K; Stempora, L; Harvey, RD; Kirk, AD; Larsen, CP; Blazar, BR; Kean, LS
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