Neutralizing BAFF/APRIL with atacicept prevents early DSA formation and AMR development in T cell depletion induced nonhuman primate AMR model.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats


Citation Stats


Depletional strategies directed toward achieving tolerance induction in organ transplantation have been associated with an increased incidence and risk of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) and graft injury. Our clinical data suggest correlation of increased serum B cell activating factor/survival factor (BAFF) with increased risk of antibody-mediated rejection in alemtuzumab treated patients. In the present study, we tested the ability of BAFF blockade (TACI-Ig) in a nonhuman primate AMR model to prevent alloantibody production and prolong allograft survival. Three animals received the AMR inducing regimen (CD3-IT/alefacept/tacrolimus) with TACI-Ig (atacicept), compared to five control animals treated with the AMR inducing regimen only. TACI-Ig treatment lead to decreased levels of DSA in treated animals at 2 and 4 weeks posttransplantation (p < 0.05). In addition, peripheral B cell numbers were significantly lower at 6 weeks posttransplantation. However, it provided only a marginal increase in graft survival (59 ± 22 vs. 102 ± 47 days; p = 0.11). Histological analysis revealed a substantial reduction in findings typically associated with humoral rejection with atacicept treatment. More T cell rejection findings were observed with increased graft T cell infiltration in atacicept treatment, likely secondary to the graft prolongation. We show that BAFF/APRIL blockade using concomitant TACI-Ig treatment reduced the humoral portion of rejection in our depletion-induced preclinical AMR model.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Kwun, J, E Page, JJ Hong, A Gibby, J Yoon, AB Farris, F Villinger, S Knechtle, et al. (2015). Neutralizing BAFF/APRIL with atacicept prevents early DSA formation and AMR development in T cell depletion induced nonhuman primate AMR model. Am J Transplant, 15(3). pp. 815–822. 10.1111/ajt.13045 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Jean Kwun

Associate Professor in Surgery

Research interests include humoral tolerance to organ transplants in animal model and humans, developing a clinically relevant animal model to study the mechanisms of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR), and establishing a conceptual basis that will translate into therapeutic intervention of AMR.


Stuart Johnston Knechtle

William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor

During my career as an academic surgeon, I have had the privilege of leading and/or participating in a diverse portfolio of hypothesis-driven research projects.  These projects have centered on the immunology of surgery and transplantation, including both cellular and antibody-mediated immune responses.  During my training I studied the response of hyper-sensitized recipients to allogeneic liver transplantation, and am currently studying means of reducing immunologic memory that might allow more successful transplantation in sensitized recipients.  This immune response involves pathways of coagulation, antibody-mediated rejection, and cellular rejection and current work in my lab involves these three pathways.  The other major focuses of my work have been co-stimulation blockade and immune cell depletion as approaches to immunologic unresponsiveness or tolerance.  My research group has been involved in translational and clinical research to develop these mechanistic tools for the benefit of human organ transplant recipients.

Recent Publications

Knechtle SJ, Shaw JM, Hering BJ, Kraemer K, Madsen JC. Translational impact of NIH-funded nonhuman primate research in transplantation. Sci Transl Med. 2019 Jul 10;11(500). pii: eaau0143. Reprint | Full Text

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.