This study was undertaken to determine if PG490-88 and tacrolimus (Tac) act synergistically to prevent renal allograft rejection in monkeys and to explore possible mechanisms of synergy between these agents. MHC-mismatched renal allografts were transplanted into cynomolgus monkeys after bilateral nephrectomy. Recipients were divided into the following groups: (i) no treatment; (ii) PG490-88 (0.03 mg/kg); (iii) Tac (1 mg/kg); (iv) PG490-88 (0.01 mg/kg) + Tac (1 mg/kg) and (v) PG490-88 (0.03 mg/kg) + Tac (1 mg/kg). Through synergy PG490-88 and Tac inhibited anti-CD3/PMA-induced T-cell proliferation and IFN-γ expression in vitro. Tac monotherapy only marginally prolonged survival (27 ± 3.2 days), while the combination of PG490-88 and Tac significantly prolonged graft survival to a median of 99 days (PG490-88 at 0.03 mg) and 38.5 days (PG490-88 at 0.01 mg/kg). Prolonged survival correlated with inhibited IgM production as well as reduced T-cell infiltration, IL-2 protein expression and NF-AT/NF-κB activity. We conclude that PG490-88 and a subtherapeutic dose of Tac significantly prolong renal allograft survival in monkeys through the synergistic inhibition of T-cell activation and a decrease in IFN-γ production and NF-AT/NF-κB activity.