Successful induction of allograft tolerance has been achieved in nonhuman primates (NHPs) and humans via induction of transient hematopoietic chimerism. Since allograft tolerance was achieved in these recipients without durable chimerism, peripheral mechanisms are postulated to play a major role. Here, we report our studies of T cell immunity in NHP recipients that achieved long-term tolerance versus those that rejected the allograft (AR). All kidney, heart, and lung transplant recipients underwent simultaneous or delayed donor bone marrow transplantation (DBMT) following conditioning with a nonmyeloablative regimen. After DBMT, mixed lymphocyte culture with CFSE consistently revealed donor-specific loss of CD8+ T cell responses in tolerant (TOL) recipients, while marked CD4+ T cell proliferation in response to donor antigens was found to persist. Interestingly, a significant proportion of the proliferated CD4+ cells were FOXP3+ in TOL recipients, but not in AR or naive NHPs. In TOL recipients, CD4+FOXP3+ cell proliferation against donor antigens was greater than that observed against third-party antigens. Finally, the expanded Tregs appeared to be induced Tregs (iTregs) that were converted from non-Tregs. These data provide support for the hypothesis that specific induction of iTregs by donor antigens is key to long-term allograft tolerance induced by transient mixed chimerism.
Kiyohiko Hotta, Akihiro Aoyama, Tetsu Oura, Yohei Yamada, Makoto Tonsho, Kyu Ha Huh, Kento Kawai, David Schoenfeld, James S. Allan, Joren C. Madsen, Gilles Benichou, Rex-Neal Smith, Robert B. Colvin, David H. Sachs, A. Benedict Cosimi, Tatsuo Kawai
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.