As a result of less than optimal outcomes the use of islet allografts as a standard insulin replacement therapy is limited to adults with a history of extreme glucose dysregulation and hypoglycemia unawareness. In this study, we examined the use of prophylactic immunotherapy to prevent
islet allograft rejection in the absence of antirejection drugs. Our protocol to achieve allograft acceptance used a negative vaccination strategy that is comprised of apoptotic donor cells delivered in Incomplete Freund’s Adjuvant (IFA) 1 week prior to islet transplantation. The goal
of this new protocol is to elicit hyporesponsiveness to alloantigen prior to islet transplantation. First, we examined our protocol without islet allograft transplants and determined that the negative vaccination was not globally immunosuppressive or immunostimulatory. Islet allograft experiments
using fully MHC-mismatched islet donors and recipients demonstrated that the negative vaccination strategy induced long-term islet allograft acceptance. Upon rechallenge with alloantigen, the negative vaccination protocol successfully achieved hyporesponsiveness. In addition, the microenvironment
at the site of the tolerant allograft revealed a decrease in proinflammatory mediators (IFN-γ, TNF-α) and an increase in the anti-inflammatory mediator IL-10, as well as increased expression of the master regulator of T-regulatory cells, FOXP3. Our data suggest that pretreating
allograft recipients with apoptotic donor alloantigen delivered in IFA induced long-term islet allograft acceptance and glycemic control by introducing alloantigen to the recipient immune system in a nonimmunostimulatory manner prior to transplant.
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Document Type: Research Article
Division of Immunogenetics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Publication date: 15 July 2013
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