- Dr. Geoffrey Hill, Principal Investigator
- Prof. Thomas Ranjeny, Co-Investigator
- Prof. Mauro Sandrin , Research Associate
- The Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, Australia
- New Approaches to Prevent Transplant Rejection
Current protocols for the transplantation of solid organs require long-term immunosuppression with drugs that have significant failure rates and side effects. Transplantation of haematopoietic stem cells, however, is associated with eventual development of permanent tolerance without this requirement for long-term immunosuppressive therapy. Graft rejection and Graft-versus-Host Disease (GVHD) are the consequence of immunological recognition of foreign donor or host antigens following solid organ and stem cell transplantation respectively. The induction of permanent antigen-specific tolerance remains the ultimate goal of both solid organ and cellular transplantation in order to prevent these reactions. Efforts to prevent and treat graft rejection and GVHD have predominantly focused on suppression or removal of effector T cells.
We have recently described two novel types of antigen-presenting cells (APC) of both donor and recipient type that are capable of inducing regulatory T cells and tolerance. This tolerance is an active process and is antigen-specific. In this proposal, we aim to optimise an approach utilising these regulatory APCs to induce a state of permanent donor-host chimerism and tolerance that will permit the transplantation of solid organ and cellular grafts without permanent immunosuppression.