Research Group

  • Dr Alain Le Moine, Principal Investigator
  • Dr Michel Y Braun, Collaborator
  • Ms Carole Kubjak, Technician


  • Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium


  • Impact of IL-17 Producing T Cells on Long-term and Short-term Allograft Survival

Organ transplantation has become a feasible and routine therapy, preventing the deaths of thousands of patients worldwide. Most often, immunosuppressive therapy is mandatory for preventing the rejection of the transplanted organ, which is perceived as an “intrusive foreign body” by the recipient immune system. These drugs have the disadvantage of dampening all immune responses in an unspecific manner, exposing the patient to an increased risk of life threatening infections and/or cancers, in addition to their metabolic side effects. In order to avoid or taper the use of immunosuppressive drugs, experimental protocols intending to induce transplantation tolerance have been started, first in animals, and more recently in the clinic. These protocols are based on the use of “regulatory T cells” (Treg) which are cells specialized in the suppression of immune responses, and their role in the induction and maintenance of transplantation tolerance has been extensively established. However, even in experimental transplantation, in some circumstances these protocols are unsuccessful and it is important to understand why these protocols failed. Besides, we and others have recently observed that these Treg, although controlling a large range of immune effectors, do not inhibit all the immune cells. Among these uncontrolled cells, the so-called “Th17” cells escape and even more are promoted by neighboring Treg. Therefore, we want to investigate the possible role of these cells in acute and chronic allograft rejection processes, particularly in those occurring in the presence of activated Treg. Then we will attempt to prevent their occurrence. In doing so, we hope to find solutions to enhance the capacity of Treg to induce and maintain transplantation tolerance.

Progress Report
Final Report