Recombinant human C1-inhibitor prevents acute antibody-mediated rejection in alloimmunized baboons

Acute antibody-mediated rejection is an unsolved issue in transplantation, especially in the context of pretransplant immunization. The deleterious effect of preformed cytotoxic anti-HLA antibodies through complement activation is well proven, but very little is known concerning complement blockade to prevent/cure this rejection. Here, we used a baboon model of preimmunization to explore the prevention of acute antibody-mediated rejection by an early inhibition of the classical complement pathway using human recombinant C1-inhibitor. Baboons were immunized against peripheral blood mononuclear cells from allogeneic donors and, once a specific and stable immunization had been established, they received a kidney from the same donor.


Rejection occurred at day 2 posttransplant in untreated presensitized recipients, with characteristic histological lesions and complement deposition. As recombinant human C1-inhibitor blocks in vitro cytotoxicity induced by donor-specific antibodies, other alloimmunized baboons received the drug thrice daily intravenously during the first 5 days after transplant. Rejection was prevented during this treatment but occurred after discontinuation of treatment. We show here that early blockade of complement activation by recombinant human C1-inhibitor can prevent acute antibody-mediated rejection in presensitized recipients. This treatment could also be useful in other forms of acute antibody-mediated rejection caused by induced antibodies.


Authors: Xavier Tillou, Nicolas Poirier, St?phanie Le Bas-Bernardet, Jeremy Hervouet, David Minault, Karine Renaudin, Fabio Vistoli, Georges Karam, Mohamed Daha, Jean Paul Soulillou and Gilles Blancho

Reference: Kidney International 78: 152-159; Published online, 24 March 2010; doi:10.1038/ki.2010.7

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