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Keywords:

  • Anti CD4 mAb;
  • FTY720;
  • tolerance;
  • transplantation

FTY720 is highly effective in various models of transplantation and autoimmunity. In order to find drugs that act synergistically with a tolerance-inducing nondepleting anti-CD4 mAb we studied this combination in a strong DA to LEW kidney transplantation model. Rats were treated with 0.3 mg/kg of FTY720 for 14 days and anti-CD4 mAb RIB5/2, alone or in combination. After kidney transplantation serum creatinine and blood lymphocyte counts were monitored. Immunohistology, ELISPOT and TaqMan™-PCR analysis of biopsies were performed.

Short-term application of RIB5/2 but not FTY720 induced long-term survival of kidney transplants. Moreover, the combination of FTY720 + RIB5/2 prevented tolerance induction. In the combination group serum creatinine levels increased 1 week after cessation of therapy and all rats died from uremia within 72 days. Intragraft immunohistology, ELISPOT and real-time RT-PCR analysis at day 21 demonstrated an enhanced T-cell infiltration and activation but a diminished up-regulation of protective genes in the grafts from recipients receiving the combination therapy. In contrast, delayed application of FTY720 to RIB5/2-treated rats did not interact with RIB5/2-induced tolerance.

In summary, FTY720 is powerful in preventing intragraft infiltration by naive T cells but this might also affect the early development of graft-protecting regulatory T cells and tolerance induction.