Skip to Content
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
Author Profile(s)
Journal Transplantation Volume: 93 Issue: 7 Pages: 676-85
Publish Date 2012 Apr 15
PubMed ID 22262127

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 na├»ve 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. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System