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Several adhesion molecules contribute to the interaction between T cells and antigen presenting cells or target cells. Leukocyte function—associated molecule-1 (LFA-l[CD11a/CD18]) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1 [CD54]) are one such critical adhesive receptor-counter-receptor combination. The importance of ICAM-1 dependent adhesion in the rejection response was initially demonstrated in cynomolgus renal allograft recipients treated with the anti-ICAM-1 murine monoclonal antibody BIRR1. BIRR1 also appeared to limit ischemie damage in these animals.A Phase I clinical trial has subsequently been completed in 18 patients who received cadaver donor renal allografts at high risk for delayed graft function (prolonged preservation time, highly-sensitized recipient). An adequate BIRR1 serum level was associated with significantly less delayed graft function (P<.01) and rejection (P<.01). In 1-hr biopsies, mouse IgG was detected along the endothelium of the vessels and glomeruli in the graft. There were no instances of primary nonfunction (PNF), and current allograft survival (follow-up: 16–30 months) in these “high-risk” mAb-treated patients is 78%. There were 3 instances of PNF and a graft survival rate of 56% in the recipients of the contralateral kidney allografts treated with conventional immunosuppression. No significant “first-dose” effect was associated with BIRR1 administration.These results establish a dosing schedule and the clinical safety of BIRR1. They also suggest that inhibition of leukocyte adhesion by mAb therapy may be useful in controlling allograft rejection and possibly in limiting reperfusion injury. Thus, these observations support the clinical importance of accessory molecules in T cell function. We hypothesize that anti-CD54 mAb acts by blocking leukocyte adhesion to the endothelium, thereby interfering with sensitization or target cell interaction.