Protein Phosphatase 2A Activation Promotes Heart Transplant Acceptance in Mice

Xianming Zhou, Qian Xu, Wangzi Li, Nianguo Dong, Colin Stomberski, Goutham Narla, Zhiyong Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Although heart transplantation is the definitive treatment for heart failure in eligible patients, both acute and chronic transplant rejection frequently occur. Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activity is critical in maintaining tissue and organ homeostasis. In this study, we evaluated the effect of a novel class of small molecule activators of PP2A (SMAPs) on allograft rejection in a mouse heterotopic heart transplantation model. Methods. Recipient mice were administered with DT-061 (a pharmaceutically optimized SMAP) or vehicle by oral gavage beginning 1 d after transplantation. Histological and immunofluorescence analyses were performed to examine allograft rejection. Regulatory T cells (Treg) from recipient spleens were subjected to flow cytometry and RNA sequencing analysis. Finally, the effect of DT-061 on smooth muscle cells (SMCs) migration and proliferation was assessed. Results. DT-061 treatment prolonged cardiac allograft survival. SMAPs effectively suppressed the inflammatory immune response while increasing Treg population in the allografts, findings corroborated by functional analysis of RNA sequencing data derived from Treg of treated splenic tissues. Importantly, SMAPs extended immunosuppressive agent cytotoxic T lymphocyte–associated antigen-4-Ig–induced cardiac transplantation tolerance and allograft survival. SMAPs also strongly mitigated cardiac allograft vasculopathy as evidenced by a marked reduction of neointimal hyperplasia and SMC proliferation. Finally, our in vitro studies implicate suppression of MEK/ERK pathways as a unifying mechanism for the effect of PP2A modulation in Treg and SMCs. Conclusions. PP2A activation prevents cardiac rejection and prolongs allograft survival in a murine model. Our findings highlight the potential of PP2A activation in improving alloengraftment in heart transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E36-E48
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


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