Induction of immunologic tolerance to cardiac allograft by simultaneous blockade of inducible co-stimulator and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 pathway

Transplantation. 2003 Apr 27;75(8):1374-9. doi: 10.1097/01.TP.0000061601.26325.82.


Background: Inducible co-stimulator (ICOS) is one of the most recently described members of the CD28 family, and it plays an important role in immune responses. To investigate the role of ICOS in allograft rejection, the authors studied graft survival after cardiac transplantation in mice.

Methods: Hearts from BALB/c mice were transplanted into C3H/He mice. Immunohistochemical staining and flow cytometry were performed. Monoclonal antibody to ICOS or ICOS-immunoglobulin (Ig) was injected intraperitoneally. The authors performed mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR).

Results: ICOS was expressed strongly by graft-infiltrating cells during rejection of the allograft. Blockade of the ICOS pathway with anti-ICOS antibody and ICOSIg significantly prolonged graft survival time relative to that in untreated mice; however, all cardiac allografts were eventually rejected by a single treatment. Treatment with both ICOSIg and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4) Ig induced not only long-term acceptance of the cardiac allograft but also donor-specific tolerance, which was shown by acceptance of donor but not third-party skin. Graft arterial intimal hyperplasia in these cardiac allografts was remarkably less than that in cardiac allografts treated with tacrolimus. Addition of anti-ICOS antibody or ICOSIg to MLR resulted in inhibition of T-cell proliferation.

Conclusions: Inhibition of T-cell proliferation with ICOSIg and CTLA4Ig was more effective than that with ICOSIg alone. Thus, ICOS appears to be an important regulator of T-cell activation, and may be an effective therapy in clinical cardiac transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abatacept
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology*
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation / immunology*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / metabolism
  • CTLA-4 Antigen
  • Graft Survival / drug effects
  • Heart Transplantation / immunology*
  • Immunoconjugates*
  • Immunoglobulins / pharmacology*
  • Inducible T-Cell Co-Stimulator Protein
  • Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Postoperative Period
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Donors
  • Transplantation Tolerance*
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • CTLA-4 Antigen
  • Ctla4 protein, mouse
  • Icos protein, mouse
  • Immunoconjugates
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Inducible T-Cell Co-Stimulator Protein
  • Abatacept