Gene transfer for transplantation. Prolongation of allograft survival with transforming growth factor-beta 1.

TitleGene transfer for transplantation. Prolongation of allograft survival with transforming growth factor-beta 1.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsQin L, Chavin KD, Ding Y, Woodward JE, Favaro JP, Lin J, Bromberg JS
JournalAnn Surg
Pagination508-18; discussion 518-9
Date Published1994 Oct
KeywordsAnimals, beta-Galactosidase, Female, Flow Cytometry, Gene Expression, Gene Transfer Techniques, Genetic Vectors, Graft Rejection, Graft Survival, Heart Transplantation, Immunosuppression, Mice, Mice, Inbred Strains, Pancreatic Elastase, Plasmids, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Transforming Growth Factor beta

OBJECTIVE: The authors tested the ability of plasmid gene transfer to express transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1), prolong allograft survival, and evaluate promoter effects on gene expression.

SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Delivery of immunosuppressants directly to allografts using gene transfer and gene therapy approaches may inhibit immune activation while avoiding the systemic toxicity of conventional immunosuppression. Candidate genes include soluble cytokines, which could be expressed at low levels throughout the graft while inducing a local immunosuppressive effect. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 is a soluble cytokine that has pleiotropic immunosuppressive effects.

METHODS: Cardiac grafts from syngeneic (CBA/J, H-2k) or allogenic (C57BL/6, H-2b) donors were placed into CBA/J recipients. Purified plasmid DNA-encoding murine TGF-beta 1 or beta-galactosidase (Lac Z) under the control of RSV, SV40, MMTV, or pancreatic elastase promoters was injected into grafts at surgery. The Lac Z expression was determined by histologic examination and TGF-beta 1 expression by graft survival. Cytotoxic T lymphocyte and flow cytometric analyses were performed to evaluate the immunosuppressive effects of TGF-beta 1 in vitro.

RESULTS: Plasmid DNA-encoding TGF-beta 1 prolonged survival from 12.6 +/- 1.1 days to 26.3 +/- 2.5 days (p < 0.02, Student's t test). The SV40 promoter was superior to the MMTV promoter in its ability to prolong survival. The effects of the plasmids were specific because Lac Z, antisense TGF-beta 1 inserts, or pancreatic elastase promoter did not prolong allograft survival. Histologic examination demonstrated Lac Z expression at least 14 days post-transplant in myocardial cells. Both RSV and SV40 promoters were effective in this respect, while a control null promoter was not. Toxicity testing showed that gene transfer of TGF-beta 1 did not alter survival or histology of syngeneic grafts. In addition, plasmids and purified TGF-beta 1 protein were not toxic to myoblasts in vitro. Recombinant TGF-beta 1 inhibited cytotoxic T lymphocyte generation and altered T cell surface receptor expression and subset expansion in vitro.

CONCLUSION: Gene transfer/therapy with plasmid DNA encoding TGF-beta 1 in vivo achieves immunologic effects that prolong allograft survival. Multiple promoters effectively induce plasmid expression, which is achieved in cardiac myocytes for at least 2 weeks without toxicity or adverse systemic effects. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 inhibits immune responses by different mechanisms, revealed by in vitro analysis of T cell cytolytic function, subset distribution, and receptor display.

Alternate JournalAnn Surg
PubMed ID7944661
PubMed Central IDPMC1234424
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