Composite tissue allografts (CTAs) contain their own reservoir of vascularized bone marrow, offering novel aspects for the induction of donor-specific tolerance. Additionally, the manipulation of recipient dendritic cells, pulsed with donor allopeptide, has been shown to engender solid organ allograft survival. To exploit these modalities, we have developed a protocol utilizing injection of recipient bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) pulsed with a donor-derived peptide for use in CTA transplantation. Six days prior to orthotopic hind-limb transplantation, Lewis rats received IV injection of donor allopeptide-pulsed, recipient BMDCs, in conjunction with a single dose of anti-lymphocyte serum. Control groups displayed signs of allograft rejection within 5 days postoperatively. Animals within the primary experimental cohort demonstrated prolongation of graft survival to an average of 8 days, and exhibited low numbers of donor T cells. The use of BMDCs in conjunction with transient immunosuppression has potential therapeutic application for induction of donor-antigen-specific tolerance to hind limb allografts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas