B lymphocyte-directed immunotherapy promotes long-term islet allograft survival in nonhuman primates.

Nature Medicine 13(11):1295 (2007) PMID 17965721

We found that an induction immunotherapy regimen consisting of rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin (Thymoglobulin) and the monoclonal antibody to CD20 rituximab (Rituxan) promoted long-term islet allograft survival in cynomolgus macaques maintained on rapamycin monotherapy. B lymphocyte reconstitution after rituximab-mediated depletion was characterized by a preponderance of immature and transitional cells, whose persistence was associated with long-term islet allograft survival. Development of donor-specific alloantibodies was abrogated only in the setting of continued rapamycin monotherapy.