Treatment with the humanized CD154-specific monoclonal antibody, hu5c8, prevents acute rejection of primary skin allografts in nonhuman primates

Eric A. Elster, He Xu, Douglas K. Tadaki, Sean Montgomery, Linda C. Burkly, Justin D. Berning, Roxanne E. Baumgartner, Frank Cruzata, Richard Marx, David M. Harlan, Allan D. Kirk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Background. Allogeneic skin transplantation remains a rigorous test of any immune intervention designed to prevent allograft rejection. To date, no single, clinically available immunosuppressant has been reported to induce long-term primary skin allograft survival in primates. We have previously shown that treatment with the humanized CD154-specific monoclonal antibody, humanized 5C8 (hu5C8), induces long-term renal allograft survival in nonhuman primates. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of hu5C8 in preventing primary skin allograft rejection in rhesus monkeys. Methods. Ten rhesus monkeys were transplanted with full-thickness skin allografts mismatched at both class I and class II major histocompatibility loci. Of these, two were given no treatment, five were treated with hu5C8 alone, and three received hu5C8 combined with whole blood donor-specific transfusion (DST). All recipients also received skin autografts for comparison. Animals were followed by inspection, serial biopsy, mixed lymphocyte culture, and alloantibody determination. Results. Treatment with hu5C8 alone or hu5C8 plus DST greatly prolonged allograft survival. Rejection occurred in the untreated group within 7 days. Mean allograft survival in the monotherapy hu5C8 group was > 236 days and in the DST group was > 202 days; these differences were not significant. Rejection eventually occurred in most animals. Allograft survival was not correlated with the development of T cell hyporesponsiveness in mixed lymphocyte culture. Rejection was not predicted by the development of donorspecific alloantibody. Conclusion. These results show that treatment with the CD154-specific monoclonal antibody, hu5C8, greatly delays the onset of acute skin allograft rejection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1478
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes


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