On May 8, Nathaniel Hogrebe, PhD; Jeffrey Millman, PhD; and collaborators published the research article “Hypoimmune induced pluripotent stem cells survive long term in fully immunocompetent, allogeneic rhesus macaques” in Nature Biotechnology demonstrating that immune-engineered induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can survive long-term without provoking an immune reaction.
These hypoimmune iPSCs were engineered to lack the HLA molecules, which are important for activating the immune system, and also overexpressed the immune checkpoint inhibitors CD47 on the iPSCs, which further inhibited the immune system.
By using a strategy pioneered by Drs. Hogrebe and Millman, these hypoimmune iPSCs could be differentiated into functional insulin-secreting pancreatic tissue.
This study demonstrates the potential of hypoimmune iPSCs as a viable option for large-scale manufacturing of universal donor cells, paving the way for regenerative therapies without the need for immunosuppressant drugs. Moreover, the study opens up a potential pathway for diabetes cell replacement therapy, with far-reaching implications for future medical treatments. If successful, this therapy could revolutionize diabetes management by offering patients a treatment alternative to insulin injections and blood sugar measurements.
Hu, X., White, K., Olroyd, A.G. et al. Hypoimmune induced pluripotent stem cells survive long term in fully immunocompetent, allogeneic rhesus macaques. Nat Biotechnology (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41587-023-01784-x