BACKGROUND:: Dendritic cells (DC) can exert powerful immune stimulatory as well as regulatory functions and are therefore important tools for therapeutic strategies. Dexamethasone (Dex) was previously shown to inhibit DC maturation and to induce regulatory properties both in vitro and in vivo. Here, we investigated the immunoregulatory role of DexDC in two different rat acute rejection models of kidney transplantation. METHODS:: Rat DC were generated from BN and DA bone marrow in the presence of the corticosteroid, Dex. The function of Dex-modulated DC was analyzed in vitro and in vivo, using a BN to LEW and a DA to LEW renal transplantation model in the absence of other forms of immunosuppression. T cells of transplanted rats were isolated and restimulated with donor mature DC (lipopolysaccharide [LPS] or CD40L activated). T-cell responsiveness was analyzed by proliferative capacity and IFN-γ production. RESULTS:: Stimulation of Dex-modulated rat DC with LPS resulted in normal IL-10 production, whereas synthesis of IL-12 was impaired. In accordance, the capacity of LPS-DexDC to stimulate T-cell activation was decreased. In both renal transplantation models, treatment with donor-derived LPS-DexDC induced a significant donor-specific T-cell hyporesponse. However, pretreatment did not result in a prolonged graft survival. CONCLUSIONS:: In two fully mismatched kidney transplantation models, donor-derived LPS-DexDC induce a donor-specific T-cell hyporesponse. However, in this setting allograft survival was not improved, suggesting an important role for T cells with indirect alloreactivity. Understanding the underlying mechanism involved in the rejection process will improve the development of a cell-based immunotherapy.

Dendritic cells, Dexamethasone, Kidney transplantation, Rat, T-cell hyporesponsiveness,
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Stax, A.M, Gelderman, K.A, Schlagwein, N, Essers, M.C, Kamerling, J.P, Woltman, A.M, & van Kooten, C. (2008). Induction of donor-specific t-cell hyporesponsiveness using dexamethasone-treated dendritic cells in two fully mismatched rat kidney transplantation models. Transplantation, 86(9), 1275–1282. doi:10.1097/TP.0b013e31818a6682