Background: Here, we isolated, expanded and functionally characterized regulatory T cells (Tregs) from patients with end stage kidney and liver disease, waiting for kidney/liver transplantation (KT/LT), with the aim to establish a suitable method to obtain large numbers of immunomodulatory cells for adoptive immunotherapy post-transplantation. Methods: We first established a preclinical protocol for expansion/isolation of Tregs from peripheral blood of LT/KT patients. We then scaled up and optimized such protocol according to good manufacturing practice (GMP) to obtain high numbers of purified Tregs which were phenotypically and functionally characterized in vitro and in vivo in a xenogeneic acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) mouse model. Specifically, immunodepressed mice (NOD-SCID-gamma KO mice) received human effector T cells with or without GMP-produced Tregs to prevent the onset of xenogeneic GVHD. Results: Our small scale Treg isolation/expansion protocol generated functional Tregs. Interestingly, cryopreservation/thawing did not impair phenotype/function and DNA methylation pattern of FOXP3 gene of the expanded Tregs. Fully functional Tregs were also isolated/expanded from KT and LT patients according to GMP. In the mouse model, GMP Tregs from LT or KT patient proved to be safe and show a trend toward reduced lethality of acute GVHD. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that expanded/thawed GMP-Tregs from patients with end-stage organ disease are fully functional in vitro. Moreover, their infusion is safe and results in a trend toward reduced lethality of acute GVHD in vivo, further supporting Tregs-based adoptive immunotherapy in solid organ transplantation.
- End stage organ disease
- Murine model
- Regulatory T cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)