Daratumumab in Sensitized Kidney Transplantation: Potentials and Limitations of Experimental and Clinical Use.
BACKGROUND: Donor-specific antibodies are associated with increased risk of antibody-mediated rejection and decreased allograft survival. Therefore, reducing the risk of these antibodies remains a clinical need in transplantation. Plasma cells are a logical target of therapy given their critical role in antibody production. METHODS: To target plasma cells, we treated sensitized rhesus macaques with daratumumab (anti-CD38 mAb). Before transplant, we sensitized eight macaques with two sequential skin grafts from MHC-mismatched donors; four of them were also desensitized with daratumumab and plerixafor (anti-CXCR4). We also treated two patients with daratumumab in the context of transplant. RESULTS: The animals treated with daratumumab had significantly reduced donor-specific antibody levels compared with untreated controls (57.9% versus 13% reduction; P<0.05) and prolonged renal graft survival (28.0 days versus 5.2 days; P<0.01). However, the reduction in donor-specific antibodies was not maintained because all recipients demonstrated rapid rebound of antibodies, with profound T cell-mediated rejection. In the two clinical patients, a combined heart and kidney transplant recipient with refractory antibody-mediated rejection and a highly sensitized heart transplant candidate, we also observed a significant decrease in class 1 and 2 donor-specific antibodies that led to clinical improvement of antibody-mediated rejection and to heart graft access. CONCLUSIONS: Targeting CD38 with daratumumab significantly reduced anti-HLA antibodies and anti-HLA donor-specific antibodies in a nonhuman primate model and in two transplant clinical cases before and after transplant. This supports investigation of daratumumab as a potential therapeutic strategy; however, further research is needed regarding its use for both antibody-mediated rejection and desensitization.
Kwun, J; Matignon, M; Manook, M; Guendouz, S; Audard, V; Kheav, D; Poullot, E; Gautreau, C; Ezekian, B; Bodez, D; Damy, T; Faivre, L; Menouch, D; Yoon, J; Park, J; Belhadj, K; Chen, D; Bilewski, AM; Yi, JS; Collins, B; Stegall, M; Farris, AB; Knechtle, S; Grimbert, P
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