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  • Author or Editor: Nicola Mason x
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The ability to genetically redirect the antigenic specificity of T cells using chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) has led to unprecedented durable clinical remissions in human patients with relapsed/refractory hematological malignancies. This remarkable advance in successful immune cell engineering has now led to investigations into the application of CAR–T-cell technology to treat nonmalignant diseases. The use of CAR-T cells to target and eliminate specific cell subsets involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity, fibrosis, senescence, and infectious disease represents a new direction for adoptive cell therapies. While the use of CAR-T cells for nonmalignant disease is still in its infancy, early reports of dramatic clinical responses to CAR-T cells targeting CD19+ B cells in patients with severe autoimmune disease raise the possibility that this approach could lead to durable remissions, eliminating the need for ongoing conventional immunosuppressive therapies. Excitingly, nonmalignant disease processes that may be addressed by CAR–T-cell therapy in humans also occur in our canine populations. Given that technologies for developing canine CAR constructs are now available, robust protocols have been described for generating canine CAR-T cells, and experience is being gathered with their clinical use in oncology, it is anticipated that CAR-T cells will soon enter the veterinary clinics for the treatment of debilitating nonmalignant diseases. Here, we provide a broad overview of CAR–T-cell therapies for nonmalignant diseases and extrapolate these advances into the veterinary space, highlighting areas in which canine CAR-T cells are poised to enter the clinics for the treatment of nonmalignant disease.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether human CTLA4-Ig ([hu]CTLA4-Ig) inhibits costimulation-dependent lymphocyte proliferation in vitro, compare the effects of (hu)CTLA4-Ig with cyclosporine and steroids on CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell lymphocyte proliferation, and determine whether memory T-cell function remains intact in the presence of (hu)CTLA4-Ig.

Animals—29 cats.

Procedure—Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were stimulated with concanavalin A (costimulation- dependent mitogen) or phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and ionomycin (costimulation independent mitogens) alone or in the presence of (hu)CTLA4-Ig, cyclosporine, or dexamethasone; effects of these treatments on lymphocyte proliferation were assessed by incorporation of thymidine labeled with tritium or flow cytometry. Antigen-specific proliferation was determined by stimulating PBMCs from 2 healthy cats seropositive for Toxoplasma gondii with soluble Toxoplasma antigen alone or in the presence of (hu)CTLA4-Ig or cyclosporine.

Results—(hu)CTLA4-Ig inhibited costimulationdependent lymphocyte proliferation in vitro but had no effect on costimulation-independent lymphocyte proliferation. Compared with mitogen alone, (hu)CTLA4-Ig caused a significant decrease in responder frequency and proliferative capacity of CD4+ T cells; however, the effect on CD8+ T cells was not significant. Cyclosporine alone or with dexamethasone had a significantly greater suppressive effect on responder frequency and proliferative capacity of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, compared with (hu)CTLA4-Ig. Compared with cyclosporine, (hu)CTLA4-Ig appeared to have a sparing effect on antigen-specific proliferation of memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—(hu)CTLA4-Ig selectively inhibited costimulation-dependent proliferation of lymphocytes in vitro and had a sparing effect on antigen-specific proliferation of memory cells. The specificity of its mechanism of action suggests that (hu)CTLA4-Ig may prevent allograft rejection but leave memory responses to previously encountered antigens intact. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:483–492)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate effects of apheresis on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and compare those MSCs with MSCs obtained from adipose tissue or bone marrow (BM).

Sample Population—Samples obtained from 6 adult horses.

Procedures—Samples of blood from a peripheral vein, adipose tissue, and BM aspirate were obtained from each horse. Samples were processed via apheresis of blood and techniques reported elsewhere for adipose tissue and BM. Cultures were maintained until adherence and subsequently were subjected to differentiation protocols to evaluate adipogenic, osteoblastogenic, and chondrogenic potential.

Results—Apheresis product had a significantly higher mononuclear percentage, higher platelet count, and lower RBC count, compared with values for peripheral blood. No cell adherence to the tissue culture plates was detected for the apheresis product. Adherence was detected for 6 of 6 adipose-derived and 4 of 6 BM-derived samples. Variations in efficiency were detected for differentiation of adipose- and BM-derived cells into adipocytes, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Apheresis was able to concentrate mononuclear cells and reduce RBC contamination. However, the apheresis product was unable to adhere to the tissue culture plates. In matched horses, adipose- and BM-derived MSCs were capable of producing lipids, glycosaminoglycan, and mineral. The BM was vastly superior to adipose tissue as a source of MSCs with osteoblastogenic potential in matched horses. Additional studies will be necessary to optimize apheresis techniques for horses before peripheral blood can be considered a suitable source for multipotential cells for use in cell-based treatments.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research