Overcoming T cell-mediated rejection of bone marrow allografts by T-regulatory cells: Synergism with veto cells and rapamycin

David Steiner, Noga Brunicki, Esther Bachar-Lustig, Patricia A. Taylor, Bruce R. Blazar, Yair Reisner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Recently, we have shown that anti-third-party cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) depleted of alloreactivity against the host are endowed with marked veto activity and can facilitate bone marrow (BM) allografting without graft-versus-host disease. We also demonstrated synergism between rapamycin (RAPA) and the veto cells. CD4+CD25+ T-regulatory (Treg) cells are suppressor cells that can enhance alloengraftment. We investigated whether donor Tregs would be synergistic with veto CTLs and RAPA in augmenting alloengraftment or, conversely, would suppress veto CTL effects. Lethally irradiated C3H mice were transplanted at day 2 after irradiation with Balb-nude BM. Graft rejection was induced by purified host-type T cells infused 1 day prior to BMT. The addition of Tregs led to moderate enhancement of engraftment. RAPA at different doses was synergistic with Tregs. The addition of veto CTLs to Tregs enabled reducing the effective RAPA dose fourfold. Combining all three agents was necessary to overcome rejection at low-dose RAPA. Chimerism analysis at 5 to 9 months revealed a significant presence of host-type cells coexisting with the predominant donor T cells, suggesting that tolerance had been attained. The synergistic effects between Tregs, veto CTLs, and RAPA offer an attractive approach for facilitating alloengraftment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-808
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by NIH Grant CA100265-01A1, Rebuilding Immunity for Survival, grant from the NIH, Project 5 Reduced Conditioning Through Control of Host Anti-Donor Alloreactivity; and grants from Mrs. E. Drake and the Gabriella Rich Center for Transplantation Biology Research (NIH P01 AI-56299, R37 HL56067, R01 AI34495, and R01 63452).


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