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Transplantation. 1999 May 27;67(10):1362-5.

Interferon-gamma is necessary for initiating the acute rejection of major histocompatibility complex class II-disparate skin allografts.

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The Carlos and Marguerite Mason Transplantation Research Center, The Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Emory University, Georgia 30033, USA.



Although interferon (IFN)gamma has immunostimulatory functions, it is not essential for the acute rejection of fully allogeneic grafts in mice. It is not known whether IFNgamma plays a critical role in the acute rejection of MHC class I- or MHC class II-disparate allografts.


We studied the survival of skin allografts transplanted from fully allogeneic (BALB/c), MHC class I-disparate (bml), or MHC class II-disparate (bm12) donors to C57BL/6 wild-type (IFNgamma+/+) and IFNgamma gene-knockout (IFNgamma-/-) recipients. We also investigated the in vitro responses of IFNgamma+/+ and IFNgamma-/- T cells to MHC class II-disparate splenocytes.


We found that IFNgamma-/- recipients reject BALB/c and bml skin grafts at the same rate as IFNgamma+/+ mice but are not capable of rejecting bm12 skin. Despite the inability of IFNgamma-/- mice to reject bm12 skin grafts, IFNgamma-/- T cells displayed vigorous proliferation and cytotoxic responses when stimulated with bm12 splenocytes in vitro. Furthermore, priming IFNgamma-/- recipients with bm12 splenocytes enabled these mice to reject bm12 skin grafts at a normal rate and to mount a cutaneous delayed-type hypersensitivity response to the bm12 antigen.


The data demonstrate that IFNgamma is not necessary for generating effector mechanisms associated with acute transplant rejection but that it is required for initiating alloimmune responses to MHC class II-disparate skin grafts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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