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Open Access Noninvasive Monitoring of Immunosuppressive Drug Efficacy to Prevent Rejection of Intracerebral Glial Precursor Allografts

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The development of cell-based therapies opens up new avenues for treating a myriad of diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). While significant effort is being directed toward development of patient-specific, autologous transplantable cells, at present, the majority of cell transplantation studies performed clinically utilize allografts. In this context, the issue of graft rejection and immunoprotection is of key importance. In this study, we transplanted mouse glial-restricted progenitors into immunodeficient, immunocompetent, and immunosuppressed mice and monitored their survival noninvasively using bioluminescence imaging (BLI). With the use of serial BLI, we evaluated both the prevalence and dynamics of cell rejection. We demonstrate that allografts in immunocompetent mice were rejected at a rate of 69.2% (n = 13) indicating that graft tolerance is possible even without immunosuppression. Immunosuppression using a combination of rapamycin and FK506 or cyclosporin failed to fully protect the grafts. FK506 and rapamycin treatment resulted in a slight improvement of immunoprotection (22.2% rejected, n = 9) compared to cyclosporin A (55.6% rejected, n = 9); however, the difference was not significant. Notably, immunohistochemistry revealed leukocytes infiltrating the graft area in both rejecting and nonrejecting immunocompetent animals, but not in immunodeficient animals. The induction of an inflammatory process, even in surviving allografts, has implications for their long-term survival and functionality.
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Keywords: Allograft; Bioluminescence; Glial restricted precursors; Immunosuppression; Rejection; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Division of MR Research, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Publication date: 2012-10-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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