Transplant Tolerance in Non-Human Primates: Progress, Current Challenges and Unmet Needs

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Abstract

Given the significant morbidity associated with current post-transplant immunosuppressive regimens, induction of immune tolerance continues to be an important goal of clinical organ transplantation. While many strategies for inducing tolerance have been successfully applied in murine models, significant barriers are faced when translating these approaches to the clinic. This has necessitated pre-clinical studies in the more closely related model system, the non-human primates (NHP). In this review, we will discuss the four most prominent strategies for inducing transplantation tolerance and highlight their relative success and shortcomings in NHP. These strategies are: (1) T-cell costimulation blockade (2) mixed chimerism induction (3) T-cell depletion and (4) tolerance induction through regulatory T-cells. After discussing the progress that has been made with each of these strategies, we will identify this field's most pressing unmet needs and discuss how we may best overcome the resulting barriers to tolerance induction.

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