Monoclonal antibodies to promote marrow engraftment and tissue graft tolerance.
Cobbold SP., Martin G., Qin S., Waldmann H.
Allogeneic reactions are the major limitation to organ transplantation. These are manifested as rejection of the grafted tissue, and also, in the case of bone marrow transplantation (BMT), graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Recent methods of avoiding GVHD, by depleting T cells from donor marrow, have led to an increased incidence of marrow graft rejection. Current recipient conditioning protocols involving drugs or irradiation cannot safely be increased, so alternatives must be found. Monoclonal antibodies can be used to control immune responses in vivo, and would be useful in this context if we could define and deplete the cells responsible for marrow rejection. We show here that elimination of residual L3T4+ and Lyt-2+ cells from mice receiving fully mismatched bone marrow abrogates rejection and promotes tolerance to donor-type skin grafts, even in sub-lethally irradiated recipients.