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Transplantation. 1993 Jun;55(6):1229-35.

Prevention of graft-versus-host disease in rat small bowel transplantation by recipient pretreatment with UV-B-modulated bone marrow cells.

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  • 1Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Department of Surgery, New York, New York 10032.


UV-B irradiation (700 J/m2) of bone marrow cells (BMC) before transplantation into lethally irradiated (1050R) allogeneic rats prevents graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and results in stable chimerism. This study examined whether UV-B modulation of BMT is useful in the subsequent induction of tolerance to small bowel transplant (SBT) and avoids the danger of GVHD, which remains the major obstacle to successful SBT. Lethally irradiated Lewis recipients of UV-B irradiated (700 J/m2) BMT (10(8) BMC admixed with 5 x 10(6) splenic leukocytes) either from ACI or Wistar-Furth (WF) rats developed stable chimerism without any evidence of GVHD for > 360 days. Lewis recipients of UV-B ACI BMC expressed 95 +/- 6% ACI lymphoid cells at 50 and 150 days after BMT using complement-dependent cytotoxicity assay. Unmodified Lewis recipients of orthotopic ACI SBT rejected their grafts and died in 7-9 days, whereas Lewis chimeras accepted permanently (> 200 days) bone marrow donor (ACI) SBT without any evidence of GVHD when the SBT was performed at 60 or 150 days after BMT. In contrast, when SBT was performed, only 30 days after induction of chimerism with UV-B ACI BMT, the recipients developed severe GVHD and died between 17 and 21 days. The Lewis chimeras rejected third part (WF) SBT acutely and died in 7-9 days, thus demonstrating the specificity of the induction of tolerance in this model. That this immunologic unresponsiveness is not restricted by the recipient-donor rat strain combination was shown by the permanent acceptance of WF SBT without GVHD by Lewis/WF chimeric recipients. Furthermore, the Lewis chimeras that were made diabetic with STZ 28 days after BMT permanently accepted (> 300 days) BM donor-type (WF) and recipient-type (Lewis) islet cells and became normoglycemic, thus indicating tolerance to both donor and recipient Ags. The diabetic Lewis chimeras that became normoglycemic permanently accepted (> 200 days) WF SBT without any evidence of GVHD after donor-type SBT 110 days after WF islet transplantation. The apparent lack of organ-specific unresponsiveness in this model confirmed our previous observation with combined islet and heart transplants. In vitro MLR studies showed that the chimeric animals were specifically unreactive to donor- and recipient-type alloantigens. Our results demonstrate that UV-B irradiation of BMT is a promising approach to the induction of tolerance to SBT.

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