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Targeting the Monocyte-Macrophage Lineage in Solid Organ Transplantation.

Abstract

There is an unmet clinical need for immunotherapeutic strategies that specifically target the active immune cells participating in the process of rejection after solid organ transplantation. The monocyte-macrophage cell lineage is increasingly recognized as a major player in acute and chronic allograft immunopathology. The dominant presence of cells of this lineage in rejecting allograft tissue is associated with worse graft function and survival. Monocytes and macrophages contribute to alloimmunity via diverse pathways: antigen processing and presentation, costimulation, pro-inflammatory cytokine production, and tissue repair. Cross talk with other recipient immune competent cells and donor endothelial cells leads to amplification of inflammation and a cytolytic response in the graft. Surprisingly, little is known about therapeutic manipulation of the function of cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage in transplantation by immunosuppressive agents. Although not primarily designed to target monocyte-macrophage lineage cells, multiple categories of currently prescribed immunosuppressive drugs, such as mycophenolate mofetil, mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors, and calcineurin inhibitors, do have limited inhibitory effects. These effects include diminishing the degree of cytokine production, thereby blocking costimulation and inhibiting the migration of monocytes to the site of rejection. Outside the field of transplantation, some clinical studies have shown that the monoclonal antibodies canakinumab, tocilizumab, and infliximab are effective in inhibiting monocyte functions. Indirect effects have also been shown for simvastatin, a lipid lowering drug, and bromodomain and extra-terminal motif inhibitors that reduce the cytokine production by monocytes-macrophages in patients with diabetes mellitus and rheumatoid arthritis. To date, detailed knowledge concerning the origin, the developmental requirements, and functions of diverse specialized monocyte-macrophage subsets justifies research for therapeutic manipulation. Here, we will discuss the effects of currently prescribed immunosuppressive drugs on monocyte/macrophage features and the future challenges.

Authors: van den Bosch TP, Kannegieter NM, Hesselink DA, Baan CC, Rowshani AT.
Journal: Front Immunol. 2017 Feb 16;8:153
Year: 2017
PubMed: Find in PubMed