Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Invest. 2000 Oct;106(8):1003-10.

CD4 T cell-mediated cardiac allograft rejection requires donor but not host MHC class II.

Author information

Division of Cardiology, The Children's Hospital, Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, Denver, CO 80262, USA.


Numerous studies indicate that CD4 T cells are required for acute cardiac allograft rejection. However, the precise role for CD4 T cells in this response has remained ambiguous owing to the multipotential properties of this T-cell subpopulation. In the current study, we demonstrate the capacity of CD4 T cells to serve as direct effector cells of cardiac allograft rejection. We show that CD4 T cells are both necessary and sufficient for acute graft rejection, as indicated by adoptive transfer experiments in immune-deficient SCID and rag1(-/-) recipients. We have analyzed the contribution of direct (donor MHC class II restricted) and indirect (host MHC class II restricted) antigen recognition in CD4-mediated rejection. Acute CD4 T cell-mediated rejection required MHC class II expression by the allograft, indicating the importance of direct graft recognition. In contrast, reciprocal experiments indicate that CD4 T cells can acutely reject allogeneic cardiac allografts established in rag1(-/-) hosts that were also MHC class II deficient. This latter result indicates that indirect presentation of donor antigens by host MHC class II is not required for acute CD4-mediated rejection. Taken together, these results indicate that CD4 T cells can serve as effector cells for primary acute cardiac allograft rejection, predominantly via direct donor antigen recognition and independent of indirect reactivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Society for Clinical Investigation Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center