Islet allograft survival in nonhuman primates immunosuppressed with basiliximab, RAD, and FTY720

Martin Wijkstrom, Norma S. Kenyon, Nicole Kirchhof, Norman M. Kenyon, Claudy Mullon, Philip Lake, Sylvain Cottens, Camillo Ricordi, Bernhard J. Hering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Objective. In a preclinical, nonhuman primate islet allotransplant model, the authors evaluated a novel immunosuppressive combination of basiliximab for induction and of RAD and FTY720 for maintenance. Methods. Five ABO-compatible and mixed lymphocyte reactivity-mismatched streptozotocin-induced diabetic juvenile cynomolgus monkeys underwent transplantation intraportally with 48-hr cultured 10,000 islet equivalents per kilogram. Induction immunosuppression was with intravenous basiliximab (10 mg on postoperative days 0 and 4). Maintenance immunosuppression was with RAD (everolimus) (0.075 mg/kg per day administered subcutaneously) and FTY720 (0.3 mg/kg per day administered orally), both administered on day -2 through day 180 posttransplant. Results. All five recipients tolerated their transplants and immunosuppressive therapy well, without adverse events or infectious complications. Insulin requirements pretransplant were 2.6 to 4.0 U/kg per day. All recipients became normoglycemic and insulin-independent posttransplant. Posttransplant serum C-peptide levels averaged 2.7 ng/mL (range, 0.6-6.2 ng/mL). Morning blood glucose levels ranged from less than 100 mg/dL to 150 mg/dL. Posttransplant acute C-peptide response to intravenous arginine averaged 1.3 ng/mL (range, 0.23-2.72 ng/mL). In one recipient with subtherapeutic RAD blood levels on day 7 post-transplant, exogenous insulin was resumed 100 days posttransplant; basal C-peptide levels remained positive in this recipient and averaged 2.6 ng/mL. The other four recipients remained insulin-independent for more than 6 months. Conclusions. This study provides preliminary evidence of the safety and efficacy of corticosteroid- and calcineurin inhibitor-free immunosuppression in a relevant preclinical transplant model. These findings provide a strong rationale for evaluating this nondiabetogenic regimen in a clinical trial of islet transplants in type 1 diabetic recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-835
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 27 2004


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