Rates of graft rejection are high among recipients of heart transplants. The onset and progression of clinically significant heart transplant rejection are currently monitored by serial biopsy, but this approach is highly invasive and lacks sensitivity. Here, we have developed what we believe to be a new technique to measure organ rejection noninvasively that involves the exploration of tissue-infiltrating leukocytes as biomarker sources for diagnostic imaging. Specifically, we profiled the myeloid response in a murine model of heart transplantation with the aim of defining and validating an imaging signature of graft rejection. Ly-6Chi monocytes, which promote inflammation, accumulated progressively in allografts but only transiently in isografts. Ly-6Clo monocytes, which help resolve inflammation, did not accumulate, although they composed the majority of the few remaining monocytes in isografts. The persistence of Ly-6Chi monocytes in allografts prompted us to screen for a Ly-6Chi monocyte–associated imaging marker. Low-density array data revealed that Ly-6Chi monocytes express 10-fold higher levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO) than Ly-6Clo monocytes. Noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging of MPO with an MPO-activatable Gd-chelate revealed a spatially defined T1-weighted signal in rejected allografts but not in isografts or MPO-deficient allograft recipients. Flow cytometry, enzymography, and histology validated the approach by mapping MPO activity to Ly-6Chi monocytes and neutrophils. Thus, MPO imaging represents a potential alternative to the current invasive clinical standard by which transplants are monitored.
Filip K. Swirski, Moritz Wildgruber, Takuya Ueno, Jose-Luiz Figueiredo, Peter Panizzi, Yoshiko Iwamoto, Elizabeth Zhang, James R. Stone, Elisenda Rodriguez, John W. Chen, Mikael J. Pittet, Ralph Weissleder, Matthias Nahrendorf
One of the main unresolved questions in solid organ transplantation is how to establish indefinite graft survival that is free from long-term treatment with immunosuppressive drugs and chronic rejection (i.e., the establishment of tolerance). The failure to achieve this goal may be related to the difficulty in identifying the phenotype and function of the cell subsets that participate in the induction of tolerance. To address this issue, we investigated the suppressive roles of recipient myeloid cells that may be manipulated to induce tolerance to transplanted hearts in mice. Using depleting mAbs, clodronate-loaded liposomes, and transgenic mice specific for depletion of CD11c+, CD11b+, or CD115+ cells, we identified a tolerogenic role for CD11b+CD115+Gr1+ monocytes during the induction of tolerance by costimulatory blockade with CD40L-specific mAb. Early after transplantation, Gr1+ monocytes migrated from the bone marrow into the transplanted organ, where they prevented the initiation of adaptive immune responses that lead to allograft rejection and participated in the development of Tregs. Our results suggest that mobilization of bone marrow CD11b+CD115+Gr1+ monocytes under sterile inflammatory conditions mediates the induction of indefinite allograft survival. We propose that manipulating the common bone marrow monocyte progenitor could be a useful clinical therapeutic approach for inducing transplantation tolerance.
Mercedes Rodriguez Garcia, Levi Ledgerwood, Yu Yang, Jiangnan Xu, Girdhari Lal, Bryna Burrell, Ge Ma, Daigo Hashimoto, Yansui Li, Peter Boros, Marcos Grisotto, Nico van Rooijen, Rafael Matesanz, Frank Tacke, Florent Ginhoux, Yaozhong Ding, Shu-Hsia Chen, Gwendalyn Randolph, Miriam Merad, Jonathan S. Bromberg, Jordi C. Ochando
Islet transplantation for the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus is limited in its clinical application mainly due to early loss of the transplanted islets, resulting in low transplantation efficiency. NKT cell–dependent IFN-γ production by Gr-1+CD11b+ cells is essential for this loss, but the upstream events in the process remain undetermined. Here, we have demonstrated that high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) plays a crucial role in the initial events of early loss of transplanted islets in a mouse model of diabetes. Pancreatic islets contained abundant HMGB1, which was released into the circulation soon after islet transplantation into the liver. Treatment with an HMGB1-specific antibody prevented the early islet graft loss and inhibited IFN-γ production by NKT cells and Gr-1+CD11b+ cells. Moreover, mice lacking either of the known HMGB1 receptors TLR2 or receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), but not the known HMGB1 receptor TLR4, failed to exhibit early islet graft loss. Mechanistically, HMGB1 stimulated hepatic mononuclear cells (MNCs) in vivo and in vitro; in particular, it upregulated CD40 expression and enhanced IL-12 production by DCs, leading to NKT cell activation and subsequent NKT cell–dependent augmented IFN-γ production by Gr-1+CD11b+ cells. Thus, treatment with either IL-12– or CD40L-specific antibody prevented the early islet graft loss. These findings indicate that the HMGB1-mediated pathway eliciting early islet loss is a potential target for intervention to improve the efficiency of islet transplantation.
Nobuhide Matsuoka, Takeshi Itoh, Hiroshi Watarai, Etsuko Sekine-Kondo, Naoki Nagata, Kohji Okamoto, Toshiyuki Mera, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Shingo Yamada, Ikuro Maruyama, Masaru Taniguchi, Yohichi Yasunami
Thymic graft-versus-host disease (tGVHD) can contribute to profound T cell deficiency and repertoire restriction after allogeneic BM transplantation (allo-BMT). However, the cellular mechanisms of tGVHD and interactions between donor alloreactive T cells and thymic tissues remain poorly defined. Using clinically relevant murine allo-BMT models, we show here that even minimal numbers of donor alloreactive T cells, which caused mild nonlethal systemic graft-versus-host disease, were sufficient to damage the thymus, delay T lineage reconstitution, and compromise donor peripheral T cell function. Furthermore, to mediate tGVHD, donor alloreactive T cells required trafficking molecules, including CCR9, L selectin, P selectin glycoprotein ligand-1, the integrin subunits αE and β7, CCR2, and CXCR3, and costimulatory/inhibitory molecules, including Ox40 and carcinoembryonic antigen-associated cell adhesion molecule 1. We found that radiation in BMT conditioning regimens upregulated expression of the death receptors Fas and death receptor 5 (DR5) on thymic stromal cells (especially epithelium), while decreasing expression of the antiapoptotic regulator cellular caspase-8–like inhibitory protein. Donor alloreactive T cells used the cognate proteins FasL and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) (but not TNF or perforin) to mediate tGVHD, thereby damaging thymic stromal cells, cytoarchitecture, and function. Strategies that interfere with Fas/FasL and TRAIL/DR5 interactions may therefore represent a means to attenuate tGVHD and improve T cell reconstitution in allo-BMT recipients.
Il-Kang Na, Sydney X. Lu, Nury L. Yim, Gabrielle L. Goldberg, Jennifer Tsai, Uttam Rao, Odette M. Smith, Christopher G. King, David Suh, Daniel Hirschhorn-Cymerman, Lia Palomba, Olaf Penack, Amanda M. Holland, Robert R. Jenq, Arnab Ghosh, Hien Tran, Taha Merghoub, Chen Liu, Gregory D. Sempowski, Melissa Ventevogel, Nicole Beauchemin, Marcel R.M. van den Brink
After liver transplantation in HCV-infected patients, the virus load inevitably exceeds pre-transplantation levels. This phenomenon reflects suppression of the host-effector immune responses that control HCV replication by the immunosuppressive drugs used to prevent rejection of the transplanted liver. Here, we describe an adoptive immunotherapy approach, using lymphocytes extracted from liver allograft perfusate (termed herein liver allograft–derived lymphocytes), which includes an abundance of NK/NKT cells that mounted an anti-HCV response in HCV-infected liver transplantation recipients, despite the immunosuppressive environment. This therapy involved intravenously injecting patients 3 days after liver transplantation with liver allograft–derived lymphocytes treated with IL-2 and the CD3-specific mAb OKT3. During the first month after liver transplantation, the HCV RNA titers in the sera of recipients who received immunotherapy were markedly lower than those in the sera of recipients who did not receive immunotherapy. We further explored these observations in human hepatocyte–chimeric mice, in which mouse hepatocytes were replaced by human hepatocytes. These mice unfailingly developed HCV infections after inoculation with HCV-infected human serum. However, injection of human liver–derived lymphocytes treated with IL-2/OKT3 completely prevented HCV infection. Furthermore, an in vitro study using genomic HCV replicon–containing hepatic cells revealed that IFN-γ–secreting cells played a pivotal role in such anti-HCV responses. Thus, our study presents what we believe to be a novel paradigm for the inhibition of HCV replication in HCV-infected liver transplantation recipients.
Masahiro Ohira, Kohei Ishiyama, Yuka Tanaka, Marlen Doskali, Yuka Igarashi, Hirotaka Tashiro, Nobuhiko Hiraga, Michio Imamura, Naoya Sakamoto, Toshimasa Asahara, Kazuaki Chayama, Hideki Ohdan
T cell responses to MHC-mismatched transplants can be mediated via direct recognition of allogeneic MHC molecules on the cells of the transplant or via recognition of allogeneic peptides presented on the surface of recipient APCs in recipient MHC molecules — a process known as indirect recognition. As CD4+CD25+ Tregs play an important role in regulating alloresponses, we investigated whether mouse Tregs specific for allogeneic MHC molecules could be generated in vitro and could promote transplantation tolerance in immunocompetent recipient mice. Tregs able to directly recognize allogeneic MHC class II molecules (dTregs) were obtained by stimulating CD4+CD25+ cells from C57BL/6 mice (H-2b) with allogeneic DCs from BALB/c mice (H-2d). To generate Tregs that indirectly recognized allogeneic MHC class II molecules, dTregs were retrovirally transduced with TCR genes conferring specificity for H-2Kd presented by H-2Ab MHC class II molecules. The dual direct and indirect allospecificity of the TCR-transduced Tregs was confirmed in vitro. In mice, TCR-transduced Tregs, but not dTregs, induced long-term survival of partially MHC-mismatched heart grafts when combined with short-term adjunctive immunosuppression. Further, although dTregs were only slightly less effective than TCR-transduced Tregs at inducing long-term survival of fully MHC-mismatched heart grafts, histologic analysis of long-surviving hearts demonstrated marked superiority of the TCR-transduced Tregs. Thus, Tregs specific for allogeneic MHC class II molecules are effective in promoting transplantation tolerance in mice, which suggests that such cells have clinical potential.
Julia Yuen-Shan Tsang, Yakup Tanriver, Shuiping Jiang, Shao-An Xue, Kulachelvy Ratnasothy, Daxin Chen, Hans J. Stauss, R. Pat Bucy, Giovanna Lombardi, Robert Lechler
Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), a process of fibro-obliterative occlusion of the small airways in the transplanted lung, is the most common cause of lung transplant failure. We tested the role of cell-mediated immunity to collagen type V [col(V)] in this process. PBMC responses to col(II) and col(V) were monitored prospectively over a 7-year period. PBMCs from lung transplant recipients, but not from healthy controls or col(IV)-reactive Goodpasture’s syndrome patients after renal transplant, were frequently col(V) reactive. Col(V)-specific responses were dependent on both CD4+ T cells and monocytes and required both IL-17 and the monokines TNF-α and IL-1β. Strong col(V)-specific responses were associated with substantially increased incidence and severity of BOS. Incidences of acute rejection, HLA-DR mismatched transplants, and induction of HLA-specific antibodies in the transplant recipient were not as strongly associated with a risk of BOS. These data suggest that while alloimmunity initiates lung transplant rejection, de novo autoimmunity mediated by col(V)-specific Th17 cells and monocyte/macrophage accessory cells ultimately causes progressive airway obliteration.
William J. Burlingham, Robert B. Love, Ewa Jankowska-Gan, Lynn D. Haynes, Qingyong Xu, Joseph L. Bobadilla, Keith C. Meyer, Mary S. Hayney, Ruedi K. Braun, Daniel S. Greenspan, Bagavathi Gopalakrishnan, Junchao Cai, David D. Brand, Shigetoshi Yoshida, Oscar W. Cummings, David S. Wilkes
Ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury in transplanted livers contributes to organ dysfunction and failure and is characterized in part by loss of NO bioavailability. Inhalation of NO is nontoxic and at high concentrations (80 ppm) inhibits IR injury in extrapulmonary tissues. In this prospective, blinded, placebo-controlled study, we evaluated the hypothesis that administration of inhaled NO (iNO; 80 ppm) to patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation inhibits hepatic IR injury, resulting in improved liver function. Patients were randomized to receive either placebo or iNO (n = 10 per group) during the operative period only. When results were adjusted for cold ischemia time and sex, iNO significantly decreased hospital length of stay, and evaluation of serum transaminases (alanine transaminase, aspartate aminotransferase) and coagulation times (prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time) indicated that iNO improved the rate at which liver function was restored after transplantation. iNO did not significantly affect changes in inflammatory markers in liver tissue 1 hour after reperfusion but significantly lowered hepatocyte apoptosis. Evaluation of circulating NO metabolites indicated that the most likely candidate transducer of extrapulmonary effects of iNO was nitrite. In summary, this study supports the clinical use of iNO as an extrapulmonary therapeutic to improve organ function following transplantation.
John D. Lang Jr., Xinjun Teng, Phillip Chumley, Jack H. Crawford, T. Scott Isbell, Balu K. Chacko, Yuliang Liu, Nirag Jhala, D. Ralph Crowe, Alvin B. Smith, Richard C. Cross, Luc Frenette, Eric E. Kelley, Diana W. Wilhite, Cheryl R. Hall, Grier P. Page, Michael B. Fallon, J. Steven Bynon, Devin E. Eckhoff, Rakesh P. Patel
Anergic T cells generated ex vivo are reported to have immunosuppressive effects in vitro and in vivo. Here, we tested this concept in nonhuman primates. Alloreactive T cells were rendered anergic ex vivo by coculture with donor alloantigen in the presence of anti-CD80/CD86 mAbs before adoptive transfer via renal allograft to rhesus monkey recipients. The recipients were briefly treated with cyclophosphamide and cyclosporine A during the preparation of the anergic cells. Thirteen days after renal transplantation, the anergic T cells were transferred to the recipient, after which no further immunosuppressive agents were administered. Rejection-free survival was prolonged in all treated recipients, and 3 of 6 animals survived long term (410–880 days at study’s end). In the long-surviving recipients, proliferative responses against alloantigen were inhibited in a donor-specific manner, and donor-type, but not third-party, skin allografts were also accepted, which demonstrated that antigen-specific tolerance had been induced. We conclude that anergic T cells generated ex vivo by blocking CD28/B7 costimulation can suppress renal allograft rejection after adoptive transfer in nonhuman primates. This strategy may be applicable to the design of safe clinical trials in humans.
Hisashi Bashuda, Masaaki Kimikawa, Kenichiro Seino, Yojiro Kato, Fumiko Ono, Akira Shimizu, Hideo Yagita, Satoshi Teraoka, Ko Okumura
Angiogenesis and vascular remodeling support fibroproliferative processes; however, no study has addressed the importance of angiogenesis during fibro-obliteration of the allograft airway during bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) that occurs after lung transplantation. The ELR+ CXC chemokines both mediate neutrophil recruitment and promote angiogenesis. Their shared endothelial cell receptor is the G-coupled protein receptor CXC chemokine receptor 2 (CXCR2). We found that elevated levels of multiple ELR+ CXC chemokines correlated with the presence of BOS. Proof-of-concept studies using a murine model of BOS not only demonstrated an early neutrophil infiltration but also marked vascular remodeling in the tracheal allografts. In addition, tracheal allograft ELR+ CXC chemokines were persistently expressed even in the absence of significant neutrophil infiltration and were temporally associated with vascular remodeling during fibro-obliteration of the tracheal allograft. Furthermore, in neutralizing studies, treatment with anti-CXCR2 Abs inhibited early neutrophil infiltration and later vascular remodeling, which resulted in the attenuation of murine BOS. A more profound attenuation of fibro-obliteration was seen when CXCR2–/– mice received cyclosporin A. This supports the notion that the CXCR2/CXCR2 ligand biological axis has a bimodal function during the course of BOS: early, it is important for neutrophil recruitment and later, during fibro-obliteration, it is important for vascular remodeling independent of neutrophil recruitment.
John A. Belperio, Michael P. Keane, Marie D. Burdick, Brigitte Gomperts, Ying Ying Xue, Kurt Hong, Javier Mestas, Abbas Ardehali, Borna Mehrad, Rajan Saggar, Joseph P. Lynch III, David J. Ross, Robert M. Strieter
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