Nature communications

Tolerance induction to human stem cell transplants with extension to their differentiated progeny.

PMID 25434740


There is increasing interest in transplantation of human stem cells for therapeutic purposes. It would benefit future application if one could achieve their long-term acceptance and functional differentiation in allogeneic hosts using minimal immunosuppression. Allogeneic stem cell transplants differ from conventional tissue transplants insofar as not all alloantigens are revealed during tolerance induction. This risks that the immune system tolerized to antigens expressed by progenitors may still remain responsive to antigens expressed later during differentiation. Here we show that brief induction with monoclonal antibody-mediated coreceptor and costimulation blockade enables long-term engraftment and tolerance towards murine ESCs, hESCs, human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and hESC-derived progenitors in outbred murine recipients. Tolerance induced to PSC-derived progenitors extends to their differentiated progenies, and sometimes even to different tissues derived from the same donor. Global gene expression profiling identifies clear features in T cells from tolerized grafts that are distinct from those involved in rejection.