Inhibition of Spleen Tyrosine Kinase Reduces Renal Allograft Injury in a Rat Model of Acute Antibody-Mediated Rejection in Sensitized Recipients

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Abstract

Background

Organ transplantation into sensitized patients with preexisting donor-specific antibodies (DSA) is very challenging. Spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) promotes leukocyte recruitment and activation via signaling through various cell surface receptors. We investigated whether a selective Syk inhibitor (GS-492429) could suppress antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) in a rat model of AMR in sensitized recipients.

Methods

Recipient Lewis rats (RT1l) were immunized with donor (Dark Agouti, RT1av1) spleen cells (day −5). Recipients underwent bilateral nephrectomy and orthotopic renal transplantation (day 0). Cellular rejection was minimized by tacrolimus treatment from day −1. Groups received GS-492429 (30 mg/kg, twice a day) (n = 11) or vehicle (n = 12) from 1 hour before transplantation until being killed on day 3.

Results

Vehicle-treated recipients developed graft dysfunction on day 1 which rapidly worsened by day 3. Histology showed severe damage (thrombosis, acute tubular injury, capillaritis) and infiltration of many Syk+ leukocytes. GS-492429 did not affect graft dysfunction on day 1, but treatment reduced allograft damage and prevented the rapid deterioration of graft function on day 3. GS-492429 reduced the prominent macrophage infiltrate and reduced the M1 proinflammatory response. Neutrophil and NK cell infiltration and capillary thrombosis were also significantly reduced by GS-492429 treatment. Serum DSA levels and the deposition of IgG and C4d in the allograft were equivalent in the 2 groups.

Conclusions

Treatment with a Syk inhibitor significantly reduced renal allograft injury in a model of severe antibody-mediated damage in highly sensitized recipients. Further studies are warranted to determine whether Syk inhibition is a potential adjunctive treatment in clinical AMR.

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