Influence of the Novel ATP-Competitive Dual mTORC1/2 Inhibitor AZD2014 on Immune Cell Populations and Heart Allograft Rejection

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Abstract

Background

Little is known about how new-generation adenosine triphosphate–competitive mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase inhibitors affect immunity and allograft rejection.

Methods

mTOR complex (C) 1 and 2 signaling in dendritic cells and T cells was analyzed by Western blotting, whereas immune cell populations in normal and heart allograft recipient mice were analyzed by flow cytometry. Alloreactive T cell proliferation was quantified in mixed leukocyte reaction; intracellular cytokine production and serum antidonor IgG levels were determined by flow analysis and immunofluorescence staining used to detect IgG in allografts.

Results

The novel target of rapamycin kinase inhibitor AZD2014 impaired dendritic cell differentiation and T cell proliferation in vitro and depressed immune cells and allospecific T cell responses in vivo. A 9-day course of AZD2014 (10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally, twice daily) or rapamycin (RAPA) (1 mg/kg, intraperitoneally, daily) prolonged median heart allograft survival time significantly (25 days for AZD2014, 100 days for RAPA, 9.5 days for control). Like RAPA, AZD2014 suppressed graft mononuclear cell infiltration, increased regulatory T cell to effector memory T cell ratios and reduced T follicular helper and B cells 7 days posttransplant. By 21 days (10 days after drug withdrawal), however, T follicular helper and B cells and donor-specific IgG1 and IgG2c antibody titers were significantly lower in RAPA-treated compared with AZD2014-treated mice. Elevated regulatory T cell to effector memory T cell ratios were maintained after RAPA, but not AZD2014 withdrawal.

Conclusions

Immunomodulatory effects of AZD2014, unlike those of RAPA, were not sustained after drug withdrawal, possibly reflecting distinct pharmacokinetics or/and inhibitory effects of AZD2014 on mTORC2.

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