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Scand J Immunol. 2005 Mar;61(3):266-73.

A combination of anergic cells' adoptive transfer and rapamycin therapy prolongs cardiac allograft survival in mice.

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  • 1Department of Renal Transplantation, the First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou, China.


The in vivo immunoregulatory effect of anergic cells induced by blocking the costimulatory pathway was investigated in this study. Anergic cells were generated in vitro by mixed culture of murine splenic cells from BALB/c and C3H/HeJ under the blockade of anti-CD154 and anti-CD80 monoclonal antibodies, and the in vitro activity of anergic cells were observed. The 3.0 Gy gamma-irradiated BALB/c mice received cardic allografts from C3H/HeJ, and anergic cells were intravenously injected immediately after transplantation. Recipient mice injected with anergic cells also received rapamycin therapy (1 mg/kg/day) for 14 days. On day 7 after transplantation, the subsets of peripheral blood T lymphocytes, the pathology of grafts and the infiltration of lymphocytes in grafts were analysed. Untreated gamma-irradiated animals showed a graft median survival time (MST) of 9 days. Animals injected with anergic cells only or receiving rapamycin therapy alone showed MST of 11 and 17 days, respectively. MST of allograft in mice treated with control cells plus rapamycin therapy was 9 days. Animals injected with anergic cells plus rapamycin therapy, but receiving third-party allografts (C57BL/6J), showed an MST of 15 days. However, anergic cell injection plus rapamycin therapy prolonged allograft survival significantly (MST 28 days, P < 0.01). The rejection was mild and tissue architecture was preserved in recipient mice receiving anergic cell injection plus rapamycin therapy. Furthermore, anergic cells and rapamycin therapy decreased the percentage of peripheral blood CD4+ and CD8+ T cells (including CD25+, CD152+, CD154+ and CD28+ subsets) and greatly reduced the infiltrating lymphocytes in allografts (including CD3+, CD4+, CD8+ and CD25+ T cells). In conclusion, the treatment based on anergic cells' adoptive transfer plus rapamycin therapy demonstrated a significant prolongation of murine cardiac allograft survival in a donor antigen-specific manner. This therapeutic protocol alleviated allograft rejection to solid allograft in vivo.

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