Recovery of functional memory T cells in lung transplant recipients following induction therapy with alemtuzumab

A. Zeevi, S. Husain, K. J. Spichty, K. Raza, J. B. Woodcock, D. Zaldonis, L. M. Carruth, R. J. Kowalski, J. A. Britz, K. R. McCurry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Profound T-cell depletion with the monoclonal antibody alemtuzumab facilitates reduced maintenance immunosuppression in abdominal and lung transplantation. While the phenotype of the post-depletional T cells has been characterized, little is known about their function. In the present study, global and CMV-specific T-cell function was assessed longitudinally in 23 lung transplant (LTx) recipients using T-cell assays (ImmuKnow® and T Cell Memory™, Cylex, Columbia, MD) during the first year posttransplant after induction therapy. Recovery of mitogen responses were seen at 2 weeks posttransplantation (65%PHA; 58% Con A), despite the low number of circulating T cells (<2%). These responses declined at 4-5 months (24%PHA; 54% Con A) and were partially reconstituted by 9 months (46% PHA; 73% Con A). CMV-specific responses recovered in 80% of R+ patients as early as 2 weeks posttransplant (n = 5) and 72% of patients had a memory response by 3 months (n = 11). In contrast, only 2 of 5 patients who did not exhibit memory responses pre-transplant (R-) developed transient CMV-specific T-cell responses. Our results show that profound depletion of T cells induced by alemtuzumab spares the functional subset of CMV-specific memory T cells. Conversely, CMV R- patients predepletion may require a prolonged period of prophylaxis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-475
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • CMV
  • Depletion
  • Memory
  • T cell
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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