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J Exp Med. 2000 Jul 3;192(1):31-40.

H2-DMalpha(-/-) mice show the importance of major histocompatibility complex-bound peptide in cardiac allograft rejection.

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  • 1University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


The role played by antigenic peptides bound to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules is evaluated with H2-DMalpha(-/)- mice. These mice have predominantly class II-associated invariant chain peptide (CLIP)-, not antigenic peptide-bound, MHC class II. H2-DMalpha(-/)- donor heart grafts survived three times longer than wild-type grafts and slightly longer than I-A(beta)(b)-(/)- grafts. Proliferative T cell response was absent, and cytolytic response was reduced against the H2-DMalpha(-/)- grafts in vivo. Residual cytolytic T cell and antibody responses against intact MHC class I lead to eventual rejection. Removal of both H2-DMalpha and beta2-microglobulin (beta2m) in cardiac grafts lead to greater (8-10 times) graft survival, whereas removal of beta2m alone did not have any effect. These results demonstrate the significance of peptide rather than just allogeneic MHC, in eliciting graft rejection.

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