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Transplantation. 1996 Oct 15;62(7):1011-8.

Blockade of multiple costimulatory receptors induces hyporesponsiveness: inhibition of CD2 plus CD28 pathways.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425, USA.


T-lymphocyte activation requires engagement of the T cell receptor with antigen-major histocompatibility complex, and simultaneous ligation of costimulatory pathways via the lymphocyte receptors CD2 and CD28/ CTLA4. Anti-CD2 monoclonal antibody (mAb) blocks the interaction of the antigen-presenting cell receptor CD48 with its ligand CD2, whereas CTLA4Ig binds with high affinity to the antigen-presenting cell ligands B7-1 and B7-2, blocking their interaction with CD28/CTLA4. We tested the immunosuppressive effects of simultaneously blocking both costimulatory pathways. Using donor C57BL/6J (H2b) hearts transplanted to CBA/J (H2k) recipients, anti-CD2 mAb plus CTLA4Ig administered at the time of transplantation prolonged cardiac allograft mean survival time to >120 days compared with untreated controls (12.2+/-0.5 days, P<0.01), anti-CD2 mAb alone (24.8+/-1.0 days, P<0.01), or CTLA4Ig alone (55.0+/-2.0 days, P<0.01). Retransplantation of these recipients with donor-specific and third-party grafts demonstrated that hyporesponsiveness and tolerance were achieved. In vitro stimulation of lymphocytes from tolerant recipients with donor-specific alloantigen resulted in normal cytotoxic T lymphocyte and mixed lymphocyte reaction responses, showing that clonal deletion or anergy did not occur, but that graft adaptation or suppression likely helped to maintain long-term graft survival. In vitro combinations of anti-CD2 mAb and CTLA4Ig suppressed the generation of allogeneic cytotoxic T lymphocytes (58%) and the mixed lymphocyte reaction (36%); CTLA4Ig was more effective in this regard and the two agents were not synergistic. Anti-CD2 mAb and CTLA4Ig suppressed mitogen-driven proliferation in differential fashions, suggesting that they affected independent signaling pathways. Anti-CD2 mAb and CTLA4Ig also inhibited interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, and IL-2 receptor (CD25). These data indicate that anti-CD2 mAb plus CTLA4Ig induces hyporesponsiveness and tolerance. The mechanism is likely related to the initial disruption of independent pathways of T-lymphocyte activation leading to antigen-specific long-term graft survival.

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