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Cell Transplant. 1999 Jul-Aug;8(4):365-73.

Analysis of the Th1/Th2 paradigm in transplantation: interferon-gamma deficiency converts Th1-type proislet allograft rejection to a Th2-type xenograft-like response.

Author information

  • 1Division of Molecular Medicine, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT. Charmaine.Simeonovic@anu.edu.au


The rejection mechanisms for fetal proislet allografts and pig proislet xenografts in mice are characterized by different intragraft cytokine mRNA profiles and cellular responses. Allograft rejection is predominantly CD8 T-cell-dependent and is associated with a Th1-type cytokine pattern (i.e., IFN-gamma, IL-2 but no IL-4 or IL-5 mRNA). In contrast, xenograft rejection is CD4 T-cell-dependent and is accompanied by a strong Th2-type response (i.e., enhanced expression of IL-4 and IL-5 mRNA) and by marked eosinophil accumulation at the graft site. We have now examined and compared the regulatory role of IFN-gamma in both proislet allograft and xenograft rejection processes. The histopathology and intragraft cytokine mRNA profile of BALB/c (H-2d) proislet allografts were examined in IFN-gamma-deficient and wild-type C57BL/6J recipient mice. The survival of pig proislet xenografts was also assessed in IFN-gamma -/- and wild-type hosts. Both proislet allografts and xenografts were acutely rejected in IFN-gamma -/- and wild-type mice. Unlike the conventional allograft reaction, which lacks eosinophil infiltration, the rejection of proislet allografts in IFN-gamma-deficient hosts correlated with intragraft expression of IL-4 and IL-5 mRNA (i.e., a Th2-type response) and eosinophil recruitment. The rejection of proislet allografts and xenografts can therefore occur by IFN-gamma-independent pathways; IFN-gamma, however, regulates the pathology of the allograft reaction but not the xenograft response. The immune destruction of proislet allografts is not prevented by Th2 cytokine gene expression; instead, the latter correlated with the recruitment of unconventional inflammatory cells (eosinophils), which may play an accessory role in effecting graft injury. Significantly, the Th1-to-Th2-like switch resulted in the novel conversion of an allograft rejection reaction into a xenograft-like rejection process.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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