Functional Characteristics and Phenotypic Plasticity of CD57+PD1- CD4 T Cells and Their Relationship with Transplant Immunosuppression.
Costimulation blockade (CoB)-based immunosuppression offers the promise of improved transplantation outcomes with reduced drug toxicity. However, it is hampered by early acute rejections, mediated at least in part by differentiated, CoB-resistant T cells, such as CD57+PD1- CD4 T cells. In this study, we characterize these cells pretransplant, determine their fate posttransplant, and examine their proliferative capacity in vitro in humans. Our studies show that CD57+PD1- CD4 T cells are correlated with increasing age and CMV infection pretransplant, and persist for up to 1 y posttransplant. These cells are replication incompetent alone but proliferated in the presence of unsorted PBMCs in a contact-independent manner. When stimulated, cells sorted by CD57/PD1 status upregulate markers of activation with proliferation. Up to 85% of CD57+PD1- cells change expression of CD57/PD1 with stimulation, typically, upregulating PD1 and downregulating CD57. PD1 upregulation is accentuated in the presence of rapamycin but prevented by tacrolimus. These data support a general theory of CoB-resistant cells as Ag-experienced, costimulation-independent cells and suggest a mechanism for the synergy of belatacept and rapamycin, with increased expression of the activation marker PD1 potentiating exhaustion of CoB-resistant cells.
Shaw, BI; Espinosa, JR; Stempora, L; Miller, A; Adams, B; Kirk, AD
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