Combined coinhibitory and costimulatory modulation with anti-BTLA and CTLA4Ig facilitates tolerance in murine islet allografts

W. Truong, J. C. Plester, W. W. Hancock, S. Merani, T. L. Murphy, K. M. Murphy, J. Kaye, C. C. Anderson, A. M.J. Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Complex interactions between positive and negative cosignaling receptors ultimately determine the fate of the immune response. The recently identified coinhibitory receptor, B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA), contributes to regulation of autoimmune and potentially alloimmune responses. We investigated the role of BTLA in a fully major histocompatibility complex-mismatched mouse islet transplant model. We report that anti-BTLA mAb (6F7) alone does not accelerate graft rejection. Rather, while CTLA4Ig alone improved allograft survival, the addition of anti-BTLA mAb to CTLA4Ig led to indefinite (>100 days) allograft survival. Immediately after treatment with anti-BTLA mAb and CTLA4Ig, islet allografts showed intact islets and insulin production despite a host cellular response, with local accumulation of Foxp3+ cells. We clearly demonstrate that combined therapy with anti-BTLA mAb and CTLA4Ig mice induced donor-specific tolerance, since mice accepted a second donor-specific islet graft without further treatment and rejected third party grafts. CTLA4Ig and anti-BTLA mAb limited the initial in vivo proliferation of CFSE-labeled allogeneic lymphocytes, and anti-BTLA mAb enhanced the proportion of PD-1 expressing T cells while depleting pathogenic BTLA+ lymphocytes. We conclude that targeting the BTLA pathway in conjunction with CTLA4Ig costimulatory blockade may be a useful strategy for promoting immunological tolerance in murine islet allografts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2663-2674
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Coinhibition
  • Costimulatory blockade
  • Islet transplantation
  • Rejection
  • Tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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