CD8+ T-Cell depletion and rapamycin synergize with combined coreceptor/stimulation blockade to induce robust limb allograft tolerance in mice.
Li Z., Benghiat FS., Charbonnier LM., Kubjak C., Rivas MN., Cobbold SP., Waldmann H., De Wilde V., Petein M., Schuind F., Goldman M., Le Moine A.
The growing development of composite tissue allografts (CTA) highlights the need for tolerance induction protocols. Herein, we developed a mouse model of heterotopic limb allograft in a stringent strain combination in which potentially tolerogenic strategies were tested taking advantage of donor stem cells in the grafted limb. BALB/c allografts were transplanted into C57BL/6 mice treated with anti-CD154 mAb, nondepleting anti-CD4 combined to either depleting or nondepleting anti-CD8 mAbs. Some groups received additional rapamycin. Both depleting and nondepleting mAb combinations without rapamycin only delayed limb allograft rejection, whereas the addition of rapamycin induced long-term allograft survival in both combinations. Nevertheless, robust donor-specific tolerance, defined by the acceptance of a fresh donor-type skin allograft and simultaneous rejection of third-party grafts, required initial CD8(+) T-cell depletion. Mixed donor-recipient chimerism was observed in lymphoid organs and recipient bone marrow of tolerant but not rejecting animals. Tolerance specificity was confirmed by the inability to produce IL-2, IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha in MLC with donor antigen while significant alloreactivity persisted against third- party alloantigens. Collectively, these results show that robust CTA tolerance and mixed donor-recipient chimerism can be achieved in response to the synergizing combination of rapamycin, transient CD8(+) T-cell depletion and costimulation/coreceptor blockade.