Desensitization and treatment with APRIL/BLyS blockade in rodent kidney transplant model
Public Library of Science (PLoS) -- PLOS ONE
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0211865

Alloantibody represents a significant barrier in kidney transplant through the sensitization of patients prior to transplant through antibody mediated rejection (ABMR). APRIL BLyS are critical survival factors for mature B lymphocytes plasma cells, the primary source of alloantibody. We examined the effect of APRIL/BLyS blockade via TACI-Ig (Transmembrane activator calcium modulator cyclophilin lig interactor-Immunoglobulin) in a preclinical rodent model as treatment for both desensitization ABMR. Lewis rats were sensitized with Brown Norway (BN) blood for 21 days. Following sensitization, animals were then sacrificed or romized into kidney transplant (G4, sensitized transplant control); desensitization with TACI-Ig followed by kidney transplant (G5, sensitized + pre-transplant TACI-Ig); kidney transplant with post-transplant TACI-Ig for 21 days (G6, sensitized + post-transplant TACI-Ig); desensitization with TACI-Ig followed by kidney transplant post-transplant TACI-Ig for 21 days (G7, sensitized + pre- post-transplant TACI-Ig). Animals were sacrificed on day 21 post-transplant tissues were analyzed using flow cytometry, IHC, ELISPOT, RT-PCR. Sensitized animals treated with APRIL/BLyS blockade demonstrated a significant decrease in marginal zone non-switched B lymphocyte populations (p<0.01). Antibody secreting cells were also significantly reduced in the sensitized APRIL/BLyS blockade treated group. Post-transplant APRIL/BLyS blockade treated animals were found to have significantly less C4d deposition less ABMR as defined by Banff classification when compared to groups receiving APRIL/BLyS blockade before transplant or both before after transplant (p<0.0001). The finding of worse ABMR in groups receiving APRIL/BLyS blockade before both before after transplant may indicate that B lymphocyte depletion in this setting also resulted in regulatory lymphocyte depletion resulting in a worse rejection. Data presented here demonstrates that the targeting of APRIL BLyS can significantly deplete mature B lymphocytes, antibody secreting cells, effectively decrease ABMR when given post-transplant in a sensitized animal model.