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Transplantation. 2000 Mar 15;69(5):969-77.

Early increased chemokine expression and production in murine allogeneic skin grafts is mediated by natural killer cells.

Author information

1
Department of Urology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Increased expression of chemokine mRNA is observed in allogeneic but not syngeneic skin grafts 3-4 days after transplantation. The recipient cells mediating this early inflammatory response in allografts remain unidentified.

METHODS:

Isogeneic and allogeneic skin grafts were transplanted to euthymic and athymic nude mice. mRNA expression and protein production of macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha), MIP-1beta, and the murine homolog of Gro(alpha), i.e. KC, from graft homogenates retrieved 3-4 days posttransplantation was tested by Northern blot hybridization and ELISA. To deplete NK cells, recipients were treated with antiasialo GM1 (ASGM1) antisera or with anti-NK1.1 mAb before transplantation.

RESULTS:

Expression of KC, MIP-1alpha, and MIP-1beta mRNA was equivalent in C57BL/6 allogeneic skin grafts and BALB/c isografts at day 2 posttransplant. At day 3 posttransplant, chemokine mRNA levels decreased in isografts but were maintained at high levels in the allografts. Increased early chemokine mRNA was also observed in C57BL/6, but not BALB/c++ grafts on BALB/c athymi(nu/nu) recipients. Treatment of allograft recipients with ASGM1 or with anti-NK1.1 antibody eliminated NK cells from the spleen and allograft infiltrating cell populations and decreased early chemokine mRNA levels in allografts 60-70%. Analyses of allograft homogenates indicated increased levels of KC, MIP-1alpha, and MIP-1beta protein at day 4 posttransplant that were decreased in recipients depleted of NK cells. Early chemokine mRNA levels were equivalent in isogeneic and semiallogeneic F1 grafts.

CONCLUSIONS:

Early chemokine mRNA expression and protein production in allogeneic skin grafts is amplified by recipient natural killer (NK) cells. These results indicate a novel function for infiltrating NK cells in mediating early increased intra-allograft chemokine production and inflammation during the initiation of acute rejection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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