Systemic immunosuppression is typically required to prevent allograft rejection. Antibody-based therapies that induce immune unresponsiveness represent an appealing alternative to nonspecific immunosuppression, which is often associated with significant morbidity. In mice, successful prevention of nerve allograft rejection has been demonstrated through interference with the CD40/CD40 ligand interaction. This study investigated the effectiveness of anti-CD40 ligand monoclonal antibody as single-agent therapy in preventing rejection and supporting nerve regeneration across long nerve allografts in non-human primates. Twelve outbred cynomolgus macaques were arranged into six genetically mismatched pairs, with each animal receiving a 5-cm ulnar nerve allograft in the right arm and a 5-cm autograft in the left arm. Mixed lymphocyte reaction assays were used to assess resulting immune unresponsiveness. Treated animals (n = 10) received anti-CD40 ligand monoclonal antibody 10 mg/kg one time, locally applied, and 20 mg/kg systemically on postoperative days 0, 1, 3, 10, 18, and 28, and then monthly. Untreated animals (n = 2) served as the untreated controls. At 4 or 6 months after transplantation, nerves were harvested for histological analysis. Four treated animals underwent an additional challenge after cessation of anti-CD40 ligand monoclonal antibody therapy and nerve graft harvests. Autogenous and allogeneic skin and nerve inlay grafting was performed to assess the permanence of immune unresponsiveness induced by anti-CD40 ligand monoclonal antibody. Animals that received anti-CD40 ligand monoclonal antibody demonstrated robust regeneration across nerve allografts, similar to that seen in the autograft control in the contralateral arm. The histomorphometric analysis of allografts in the untreated animals demonstrated significantly worse measurements compared with their matched autograft controls. Animals that received anti-CD40 ligand monoclonal antibody with concomitant skin allografts had virtually no evidence of nerve regeneration through allografts. Allogeneic skin and nerve allografts applied 2 to 12 months after withdrawal of anti-CD40 ligand monoclonal antibody therapy were consistently rejected. This study demonstrates that anti-CD40 ligand monoclonal antibody prevents rejection and allows regeneration of peripheral nerve allografts in nonhuman primates. The effect of anti-CD40 ligand monoclonal antibody appears to be transient, however, with restoration of immunocompetence shortly after withdrawal of therapy.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Plastic and reconstructive surgery|
|State||Published - Dec 2004|