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J Immunol. 1999 Nov 15;163(10):5353-7.

CD4+ CD45RB low-density cells from untreated mice prevent acute allograft rejection.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. jdavies@scripps.edu


In the absence of therapy that suppresses the action of the immune system, the immune response to transplantation Ags results in rapid rejection of the transplant. The most successful mechanism so far described that achieves organ-specific immunological tolerance is that which controls peripheral tolerance to self-tissue. Until now, no similarities have been documented between the peripheral response to self-Ags and the response to transplantation Ags. CD4+ cells that express a high density of CD45RB (in the mouse) and CD45RC (in the rat) on their surface have been shown to cause a number of autoimmune disorders. In contrast, autoimmunity caused by the CD45RB high-density cells is inhibited by CD4+ CD45RB cells that express a low density of CD45RB (CD45RC in the rat). In this paper we show that CD4+ CD45RB high-density cells are sufficient to cause rejection of a MHC-mismatched pancreas allograft, whereas CD4+ CD45RB low-density cells are not. Unexpectedly, the CD45RB low-density cells prevent the CD45RBhigh expressing cells from causing rejection. These data suggest that the response to foreign tissue can be controlled in the same way as the response to self-tissue.

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