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J Immunol. 2001 Mar 1;166(5):3248-55.

Immunobiology of allograft rejection in the absence of IFN-gamma: CD8+ effector cells develop independently of CD4+ cells and CD40-CD40 ligand interactions.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Section of General Surgery, University of Michigan School of Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. kbishop@umich.edu

Abstract

Both wild-type (WT) and IFN-gamma-deficient (IFN-gamma(-/-)) C57BL/6 mice can rapidly reject BALB/c cardiac allografts. When depleted of CD8(+) cells, both WT and IFN-gamma(-/-) mice rejected their allografts, indicating that these mice share a common CD4-mediated, CD8-independent mechanism of rejection. However, when depleted of CD4(+) cells, WT mice accepted their allografts, while IFN-gamma(-/-) recipients rapidly rejected them. Hence, IFN-gamma(-/-), but not WT mice developed an unusual CD8-mediated, CD4-independent, mechanism of allograft rejection. Allograft rejection in IFN-gamma(-/-) mice was associated with intragraft accumulation of IL-4-producing cells, polymorphonuclear leukocytes, and eosinophils. Furthermore, this form of rejection was resistant to treatment with anti-CD40 ligand (CD40L) mAb, which markedly prolonged graft survival in WT mice. T cell depletion studies verified that anti-CD40L treatment failed to prevent CD8-mediated allograft rejection in IFN-gamma(-/-) mice. However, anti-CD40L treatment did prevent CD4-mediated rejection in IFN-gamma(-/-) mice, although grafts were eventually rejected when CD8(+) T cells repopulated the periphery. The IL-4 production and eosinophil influx into the graft that occurred during CD8-mediated rejection were apparently epiphenomenal, since treatment with anti-IL-4 mAb blocked intragraft accumulation of eosinophils, but did not interfere with allograft rejection. These studies demonstrate that a novel, CD8-mediated mechanism of allograft rejection, which is resistant to experimental immunosuppression, can develop when IFN-gamma is limiting. An understanding of this mechanism is confounded by its association with Th2-like immune events, which contribute unique histopathologic features to the graft but are apparently unnecessary for the process of allograft rejection.

PMID:
11207279
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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