|Authors||Parsons RF, Yu M, Vivek K, Zekavat G, Rostami SY, Ziaie AS, Luo Y, Koeberlein B, Redfield RR, Ward CD, Migone TS, Cancro MP, Naji A, Noorchashm H|
|Journal||Transplantation Volume: 93 Issue: 7 Pages: 676-85|
|Publish Date||2012 Apr 15|
Immunologic rejection is a major barrier to successful long-term outcomes in clinical transplantation. The importance of B lymphocytes-and their secretory products, alloantibodies-in the pathogenesis of allograft rejection is accepted. Furthermore, it is now clear that the dominant regulator of peripheral B-cell homeostasis and tolerance is the B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS), also referred to as the B-cell activating factor (BAFF). Recently, a novel class of clinical immunotherapeutic agents specific for BLyS, and its family of cytokines, has emerged for the treatment of B-cell-mediated diseases. In this study, we demonstrate the potential utility of BLyS-directed immunotherapy in preventing allograft rejection using a murine islet transplantation model.A transient period of mature peripheral B-cell depletion was induced by means of in vivo BLyS neutralization using a murine analog of the monoclonal antibody, Benlysta. Subsequently, fully major histocompatibility complex-mismatched islets were transplanted into naïve diabetic mice followed by a short course of rapamycin.After BLyS neutralization, indefinite islet allograft survival was achieved. Induction therapy with rapamycin was necessary, but not sufficient, for the achievement of this long-term graft survival. The tolerant state was associated with (1) abrogation of the donor-specific antibody response, (2) transient preponderance of immature/transitional B cells in all lymphoid organs, (3) impaired CD4 T-cell activation during the period of B-cell depletion, and (4) presence of a “regulatory” cytokine milieu.In vivo BLyS neutralization effectively induces humoral tolerance and promotes long-term islet allograft survival in mice. Therefore, B-lymphocyte-directed immunotherapy targeting the homeostatic regulator, BLyS, may be effective in promoting transplantation tolerance.