Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 199–213 | Cite as

Cell therapeutic approaches to immunosuppression after clinical kidney transplantation

  • Christian MorathEmail author
  • Anita Schmitt
  • Florian Kälble
  • Martin Zeier
  • Michael Schmitt
  • Flavius Sandra-Petrescu
  • Gerhard Opelz
  • Peter Terness
  • Matthias Schaier
  • Christian Kleist


Refinement of immunosuppressive strategies has led to further improvement of kidney graft survival in recent years. Currently, the main limitations to long-term graft survival are life-threatening side effects of immunosuppression and chronic allograft injury, emphasizing the need for innovative immunosuppressive regimens that resolve this therapeutic dilemma. Several cell therapeutic approaches to immunosuppression and donor-specific unresponsiveness have been tested in early phase I and phase II clinical trials in kidney transplantation. The aim of this overview is to summarize current cell therapeutic approaches to immunosuppression in clinical kidney transplantation with a focus on myeloid suppressor cell therapy by mitomycin C-induced cells (MICs). MICs show great promise as a therapeutic agent to achieve the rapid and durable establishment of donor-unresponsiveness in living-donor kidney transplantation. Cell-based therapeutic approaches may eventually revolutionize immunosuppression in kidney transplantation in the near future.


Transplantation Immunosuppression Tolerance Regulatory T cells Myeloid suppressor cells Mitomycin C-induced cells 



The TOL-1 Study is funded by a grant from the German government (EXIST-Forschungstransfer: TolerogenixX, 03EFB BW56).

Author contributions

All authors drafted and critically revised the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None to declare.


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Copyright information

© IPNA 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Morath
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anita Schmitt
    • 2
  • Florian Kälble
    • 1
  • Martin Zeier
    • 1
  • Michael Schmitt
    • 2
  • Flavius Sandra-Petrescu
    • 3
    • 4
  • Gerhard Opelz
    • 3
  • Peter Terness
    • 3
  • Matthias Schaier
    • 1
  • Christian Kleist
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of NephrologyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine V, GMP Core FacilityUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  3. 3.Department of Transplantation ImmunologyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryUniversity Medical Center Mannheim, University of HeidelbergMannheimGermany
  5. 5.Department of Radiology, Division of Nuclear MedicineUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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