Various cell-based therapies are currently investigated in an attempt to tackle the high morbidity and mortality associated with heart failure. The need for these therapies to move towards the clinic is pressing. Therefore, preclinical large animal studies that use non-autologous cells are needed to evaluate their potential. However, non-autologous cells are highly immunogenic and trigger immune rejection responses resulting in potential loss of efficacy. To overcome this issue, adequate immunosuppressive regimens are of imminent importance but clear guidelines are currently lacking. In this review, we assess the immunological barriers regarding non-autologous cell transplantation and immune modulation with immunosuppressive drugs. In addition, we provide recommendations with respect to immunosuppressive regimens in preclinical cardiac cell-replacement studies.
Full Access Link: Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research