Immunotoxin Against a Donor MHC Class II Molecule Induces Indefinite Survival of Murine Kidney Allografts

K. Brown, A. K. Nowocin, L. Meader, L. A. Edwards, R.A. Smith, W. Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
155 Downloads (Pure)


Rejection of donor organs depends on the trafficking of donor passenger leukocytes to the secondary lymphoid organs of the recipient to elicit an immune response via the direct antigen presentation pathway. Therefore, the depletion of passenger leukocytes may be clinically applicable as a strategy to improve graft survival. Because major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II+ cells are most efficient at inducing immune responses, selective depletion of this population from donor grafts may dampen the alloimmune response and prolong graft survival. In a fully MHC mismatched mouse kidney allograft model, we describe the synthesis of an immunotoxin, consisting of the F(ab′)2 fragment of a monoclonal antibody against the donor MHC class II molecule I-Ak conjugated with the plant-derived ribosomal inactivating protein gelonin. This anti-I-Ak gelonin immunotoxin depletes I-Ak expressing cells specifically in vitro and in vivo. When given to recipients of kidney allografts, it resulted in indefinite graft survival with normal graft function, presence of Foxp3+ cells within donor grafts, diminished donor-specific antibody formation, and delayed rejection of subsequent donor-type skin grafts. Strategies aimed at the donor arm of the immune system using agents such as immunotoxins may be a useful adjuvant to existing recipient-orientated immunosuppression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1138
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number4
Early online date22 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


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