Evidence for kidney rejection after combined bone marrow and renal transplantation despite ongoing whole-blood chimerism in rhesus macaques.
Although there is evidence linking hematopoietic chimerism induction and solid organ transplant tolerance, the mechanistic requirements for chimerism-induced tolerance are not clearly elucidated. To address this, we used an MHC-defined primate model to determine the impact of impermanent, T cell-poor, mixed-chimerism on renal allograft survival. We compared two cohorts: one receiving a bone marrow and renal transplant ("BMT/renal") and one receiving only a renal transplant. Both cohorts received maintenance immunosuppression with CD28/CD40-directed costimulation blockade and sirolimus. As previously demonstrated, this transplant strategy consistently induced compartmentalized donor chimerism, (significant whole-blood chimerism, lacking T cell chimerism). This chimerism was not sufficient to prolong renal allograft acceptance: the BMT/renal mean survival time (MST, 76 days) was not significantly different than the renal transplant alone MST (85 days, p = 0.46), with histopathology documenting T cell mediated rejection. Flow cytometric analysis revealed significant enrichment for CD28-/CD95+ CD4+ and CD8+ Tem cells in the rejected kidney, suggesting a link between CD28-negative Tem and costimulation blockade-resistant rejection. These results suggest that in some settings, transient T cell-poor chimerism is not sufficient to induce tolerance to a concurrently placed renal allograft and that the presence of this chimerism per se is not an independent biomarker to identify tolerance.
Ramakrishnan, SK; Page, A; Farris, AB; Singh, K; Leopardi, F; Hamby, K; Sen, S; Polnett, A; Deane, T; Song, M; Stempora, L; Strobert, E; Kirk, AD; Larsen, CP; Kean, LS
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