Current status of costimulatory blockade in renal transplantation

David Wojciechowski, Flavio Vincenti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose of review The review will focus on the impact and current status of costimulatory blockade in renal transplantation. Recent findings The mainstay of immunosuppression in kidney transplantation is calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) which have reduced acute rejection rates but failed to improve long-term allograft survival. Their cardiometabolic side-effects and nephrotoxicity have shifted the focus of investigation to CNI-free regimens. Costimulation blockade with belatacept, a second generation, higher avidity variant of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated protein 4 has emerged as part of a CNI-free regimen. Belatacept has demonstrated superior glomerular filtration rate compared with CNIs, albeit with an increased risk of early and histologically severe rejection. Focus on optimizing the belatacept regimen is underway. ASKP1240, which blocks the cluster of differentiation 40 (CD40)/CD154 costimulatory pathway, has just completed a phase 2 trial with a CNI-free regimen. CFZ533, an anti-CD40, is also poised to be tested in a phase 2 trial in renal transplantation. Nonagonistic CD28 antibodies have re-emerged with two anti-CD28 candidates in preclinical development. Summary A reliable, CNI-free regimen that maintains low acute rejection rates and improves long-term renal allograft survival has become an achievable goal with costimulation blockade. The task of clinicians and researchers is to find the optimal combinations to maintain safety and improve efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-590
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent opinion in nephrology and hypertension
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • belatacept
  • costimulation blockade
  • kidney transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Nephrology


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