Nonhuman primate models of transplant tolerance: Closer to the holy grail

William H. Kitchens, Andrew B. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Transplantation tolerance, successful acceptance of an organ without the perils of immunosuppression, has been a central goal of transplant research. Many strategies to achieve this tolerance have been examined over the past three decades, culminating in several human trials of transplant tolerance. This progression from the 'benchtop to the clinic' has depended on the successful implementation of these tolerance strategies in nonhuman primates. This review will examine the described methods of transplant tolerance induction in nonhuman primates. Recent findings Although costimulatory blockade and mixed chimerism have an established record of achieving transplant tolerance in nonhuman primates, some of the most innovative recent techniques of tolerance induction have relied on cellular transfer. This review will fully examine the role of regulatory T-cell transfer and the use of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells to promote tolerance of organ allografts in nonhuman primates. Summary Use of translational nonhuman primate transplant models is a vital intermediate step to advance new approaches of transplant tolerance induction from the lab to the clinic. This review will explore numerous techniques of tolerance induction that have been piloted in primates, including depletional techniques, induction of mixed hematopoietic chimerism, costimulation blockade, and adoptive transfer of tolerogenic cell populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Opinion in Organ Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
W.H.K. is supported by a fellowship grant from the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. A.B.A. has received research support from Bristol-Myers Squibb, the manufacturer of belatacept. The other author has no conflict of interest to declare.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Costimulatory blockade
  • Immunotoxin
  • Mixed chimerism
  • Nonhuman primates
  • Transplant tolerance


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