Scientists obviate need for anti-rejection drugs in islet cell transplant

Scientists obviate need for anti-rejection drugs in islet cell transplant

Amar Singh, et al have found a way that would achieve immune tolerance to allografts eliminating the need for anti-rejection drugs. The researchers could maintain long-term survival and function of pancreatic islet transplants despite complete discontinuation of all anti-rejection drugs on day 21 after the transplant. The researchers infused modified donor white blood cells into transplant recipients one week before and one day after the transplant. Two peritransplant infusions of apoptotic donor leukocytes under short-term immunotherapy could induce long-term (≥1 year) tolerance to islet transplants in rhesus macaque. The scientists used antagonistic anti-CD40 antibody 2C10R4, rapamycin, soluble tumour necrosis factor receptor and anti-interleukin 6 receptor antibody as immunotherapy. Further investigation needs to be carried out to study the induced antigen-specific tolerance in transplantation for apoptotic donor leukocyte infusions. Without the need for long-term anti-rejection drugs, islet cell transplants could thus become the treatment option of choice, and possibly a cure, for many people burdened by type 1 diabetes.  

Source: Nature Communications, Volume 10, Article number: 3495 (2019) 02 August 2019 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-11338-y

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