Immunomodulation of dog islets using a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies.
Brons IG., Champeney R., Cobbold SP., Davies HS., Waldmann H., Calne RY.
Islet allografts are particularly vulnerable to rejection, and current immunosuppressive agents are deleterious to their function. They are, however, highly suitable for 'immunomodulation', i.e., the removal or inactivation of passenger leukocytes to reduce their immunogenicity. For this purpose we have used 3 rat anti-dog monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) which are synergistic for leukocytolysis in the presence of autologous dog serum. Spleen cells or purified islets treated with these Mabs together with autologous serum were tested in mixed leukocyte and islet co-culture assays. The stimulatory properties of the Mab-pretreated splenocytes or islets were markedly reduced; moreover, the Mab cytolytic activity was shown to be confined to the leukocyte target cells and did not affect islet secretory function upon glucose stimulation. We conclude that this method of modifying the immunogenicity of dog islets could lead to successful islet grafting in vivo, allowing the reduction of conventional immunosuppression. Successful in vivo studies in this model, which are currently in progress, could have implications for clinical islet transplantation.