Everolimus-treated renal transplant recipients have a more robust CMV-specific CD8+ T-cell response compared with cyclosporine- or mycophenolate-treated patients

Simone H. C. Havenith, Si La Yong, Karlijn A. M. I. van Donselaar-van der Pant, René A. W. van Lier, Ineke J. M. ten Berge, Fréderike J. Bemelman

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In renal transplant recipients, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors have been reported to protect against cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease. Here, we questioned whether mTOR inhibitors specifically influence human CMV-induced T-cell responses. We studied renal transplant recipients treated with prednisolone, cyclosporine A (CsA), and mycophenolate sodium (MPS) for the first 6 months after transplantation followed by double therapy consisting of prednisolone/everolimus, which is an mTOR inhibitor (P/EVL; n=10), prednisolone/CsA (P/CsA; n=7), or prednisolone/MPS (P/MPS; n=9). All patients were CMV-IgG positive before transplantation. CMV reactivation was detectable in the first 6 months after transplantation and not thereafter. None of the patients included in this study suffered from CMV disease. Both CD27CD8 and CD27CD28CD4 effector-type T-cell counts, known to be associated with CMV infection, were measured before transplantation and at 6 and 24 months after transplantation. Additionally, we determined both number and function of CMV-specific CD8 T cells at these time points. The number of total CD8 T cells, CD27CD8 T cells, and CD28CD4 T cells increased significantly after switch to therapy with P/EVL but not after switch to P/CsA or P/MPS. Specifically, CMV-specific CD8 T-cell counts significantly increased after switch to therapy with P/EVL. Furthermore, the mTOR inhibitor sirolimus strongly inhibited alloresponses in vitro, whereas it did not affect CMV-specific responses. We observed a significant increase in (CMV-specific) effector-type CD8 and CD4 T-cell counts in everolimus-treated patients. These findings may at least in part explain the reported low incidence of CMV-related pathology in everolimus-treated patients
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-191
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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