Preclinical evaluation of tolerance induction protocols and islet transplantation in non-human primates

Sean P. Montgomery, Douglas A. Hale*, Boaz Hirshberg, David M. Harlan, Allan D. Kirk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Non-human primate studies of tolerance induction strategies in solid organ transplantation represent a critical bridge between studies in rodents and humans. Our work demonstrates that strategies involving the blockade of co-stimulatory molecules, especially the CD40-CD154 pathway, have great potential for clinical adaptation. While the combination of anti-CD154 antibody with blockade of the CD28 pathway reduced donor antibody production, graft survival was not significantly improved over that achieved with anti-CD154 antibody alone. Moreover, although long courses of steroids seem to interfere with this approach, it may be possible to combine blockade of the CD40-CD154 pathway with other conventional immunosuppressants without sacrificing efficacy. This is a key issue for reducing the risk associated with eventual clinical trials. Work in the non-human primate islet transplant model demonstrates that viable islets can be recovered, isolated and infused in a reliable fashion. It also confirms the efficacy of a steroid sparing approach to immunosuppression for islet transplantation. These data have been expanded to the kidney allograft model, setting the stage for kidney islet transplantation studies. Overall, tolerance induction and islet transplant studies in non-human primates permit the preclinical screening of promising immunomodulatory approaches developed in rodents and reduce the inherent uncertainties associated with adapting new regimens to the clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-222
Number of pages9
JournalImmunological Reviews
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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