Five-year follow-up of a phase I trial of donor-derived modified immune cell infusion in kidney transplantation

Matthias Schaier, Christian Morath, Lei Wang, Christian Kleist, Gerhard Opelz, Thuong Hien Tran, Sabine Scherer, Lien Pham, Naruemol Ekpoom, Caner Süsal, Gerald Ponath, Florian Kälble, Claudius Speer, Louise Benning, Christian Nusshag, Christoph F. Mahler, Luiza Pego da Silva, Claudia Sommerer, Angela Hückelhoven-Krauss, David CzockArianeb Mehrabi, Constantin Schwab, Rüdiger Waldherr, Paul Schnitzler, Uta Merle, Vedat Schwenger, Markus Krautter, Stephan Kemmner, Michael Fischereder, Manfred Stangl, Ingeborg A. Hauser, Anna Isabelle Kälsch, Bernhard K. Krämer, Georg A. Böhmig, Carsten Müller-Tidow, Jochen Reiser, Martin Zeier, Michael Schmitt, Peter Terness, Anita Schmitt, Volker Daniel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: The administration of modified immune cells (MIC) before kidney transplantation led to specific immunosuppression against the allogeneic donor and a significant increase in regulatory B lymphocytes. We wondered how this approach affected the continued clinical course of these patients. Methods: Ten patients from a phase I clinical trial who had received MIC infusions prior to kidney transplantation were retrospectively compared to 15 matched standard-risk recipients. Follow-up was until year five after surgery. Results: The 10 MIC patients had an excellent clinical course with stable kidney graft function, no donor-specific human leukocyte antigen antibodies (DSA) or acute rejections, and no opportunistic infections. In comparison, a retrospectively matched control group receiving standard immunosuppressive therapy had a higher frequency of DSA (log rank P = 0.046) and more opportunistic infections (log rank P = 0.033). Importantly, MIC patients, and in particular the four patients who had received the highest cell number 7 days before surgery and received low immunosuppression during follow-up, continued to show a lack of anti-donor T lymphocyte reactivity in vitro and high CD19+CD24hiCD38hi transitional and CD19+CD24hiCD27+ memory B lymphocytes until year five after surgery. Conclusions: MIC infusions together with reduced conventional immunosuppression were associated with good graft function during five years of follow-up, no de novo DSA development and no opportunistic infections. In the future, MIC infusions might contribute to graft protection while reducing the side effects of immunosuppressive therapy. However, this approach needs further validation in direct comparison with prospective controls. Trial registration:, identifier NCT02560220 (for the TOL-1 Study). EudraCT Number: 2014-002086-30.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1089664
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • cell therapy
  • phase I (drug development)
  • regulatory B (Breg) cells
  • tolerance
  • transplantation - kidney

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Five-year follow-up of a phase I trial of donor-derived modified immune cell infusion in kidney transplantation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this