Monitoring the patient off immunosuppression

A. W. Thomson, G. V. Mazariegos, J. Reyes, V. S. Donnenberg, A. D. Donnenberg, C. Bentlejewski, A. F. Zahorchak, P. J. O'Connell, J. J. Fung, E. Jankowska-Gan, W. J. Burlingham, P. S. Heeger, A. Zeevi

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37 Scopus citations


The mission of the recently established Immune Tolerance Network includes the development of protocols for the induction of transplant tolerance in organ allograft recipients and the development of assays that correlate with and may be predictive of the tolerant state. The state of clinical organ transplant tolerance seems to already exist in a small minority of conventionally immunosuppressed liver and, more rarely, kidney transplant patients. Immunosuppressive drug therapy has been withdrawn from these patients for a variety of reasons, including protocolized weaning for a uniquely large group of liver patients at the University of Pittsburgh. In this study, we propose to evaluate the validity of a variety of in vitro immunologic and molecular biologic tests that may correlate with, and be predictive of, the state of organ transplant tolerance in stable liver patients off immunosuppression. Only peripheral blood will be available for the execution of these tests. Both adult and pediatric liver graft recipients will be studied, in comparison to appropriate controls. We shall examine circulating dendritic cell (DC) subsets [precursor (p) DC1 and p DC2] including cells of donor origin, and assess both the frequency and function of donor-reactive T cells by ELISPOT and by trans-vivo delayed-type hypersensitivity analysis in a surrogate murine model. Cytokine gene polymorphism and alloantibody titers will also be investigated. It is anticipated that the results obtained may provide physicians with a tolerance assay "profile" that may determine those patients from whom immunosuppressive therapy may be safely withdrawn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S13-S22
Issue number8 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 27 Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes


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