Limited Efficacy of Immunosuppressive Drugs on CD8+T Cell-Mediated and Natural Killer Cell-Mediated Lysis of Human Renal Tubular Epithelial Cells

Martijn Demmers, Sander Korevaar, M.G.H. Betjes, Willem Weimar, Ajda Rowshani, Carla Baan

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Although CD8+ T cell-mediated and natural killer (NK) cell-mediated cytotoxicity against renal tubular epithelial cells (TECs) plays a crucial role during rejection, the degree of inhibition of these lytic immune responses by immunosuppressive drugs is unknown. We investigated the CD8 T-cell and NK cell responses induced by TECs in vitro and questioned how these processes are affected by immunosuppressive drugs. Methods. Donor-derived TECs were co-cultured with recipient peripheral blood monocyte cells. Proliferation of CD8+ T cells and NK cell subsets was assessed using PKH dilution assay. CD107a degranulation and europium release assay were performed to explore CD8+-mediated and NK cell-mediated TEC lysis. Experiments were conducted in the absence or presence of tacrolimus (10 ng/mL), everolimus (10 ng/mL), and prednisolone (200 ng/mL). Results. Tubular epithelial cells induce significant CD8+ T-cell and NK cell proliferation. All immunosuppressive drugs significantly inhibited TEC-induced CD8+ T-cell proliferation. Interestingly, prednisolone was the most powerful inhibitor of NK cell proliferation. CD8-mediated and NK cellYmediated early lytic responses were marked by strong degranulation after an encounter of unstimulated TECs, represented by a high cell surface expression of CD107a. However, with the use of interferon-gamma-activated and tumor necrosis factor-alpha-activated TECs, the NK degranulation response was significantly reduced and CD8 degranulation response was even more enhanced (P<0.05). Tubular epithelial cell-induced CD8 degranulation and CD8-mediated TEC lysis were preferentially inhibited by tacrolimus and prednisolone, and not by everolimus. Although tacrolimus showed the most inhibitory effect on the degranulation of NK cells, NK cell-mediated TEC lysis was efficiently inhibited by prednisolone (P<0.05). Conclusion. Overall, our data point to a limited efficacy of immunosuppressive drugs on CD8+ T cell-mediated and NK cell-mediated lysis of human renal TECs.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1110-1118
Number of pages9
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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