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J Immunol. 2001 Sep 1;167(5):2979-84.

Early chemokine cascades in murine cardiac grafts regulate T cell recruitment and progression of acute allograft rejection.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


The identification of early inflammatory events after transplant in solid tissue organ grafts that may direct T cell recruitment and promote acute allograft rejection remain largely unknown. To better understand temporal aspects of early inflammatory events in vascularized organ grafts, we tested the intragraft expression of four different chemokines in heterotopically transplanted A/J (H-2(a)) and syngeneic heart grafts in C57BL/6 (H-2(b)) recipient mice from 1.5 to 48 h after transplant. Similar temporal expression patterns and equivalent levels of chemokine expression were observed in both syngeneic and allogeneic cardiac allografts during this time period. Expression of the neutrophil chemoattractant growth-related oncogene alpha (KC) was observed first and reached peak levels by 6 h after transplant and was followed by the monocyte/macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 (JE) and then macrophage inflammatory proteins 1beta and 1alpha. Administration of rabbit KC antiserum to allograft recipients within 30 min of cardiac transplantation attenuated downstream events including intra-allograft expression of the T cell chemoattractants IFN-gamma-inducible protein-10 and monokine induced by IFN-gamma, cellular infiltration into the allograft, and graft rejection. Similarly, depletion of recipient neutrophils at the time of transplantation significantly extended allograft survival from day 8 to 10 in control-treated recipients up to day 21 after transplant. These results indicate the induction of highly organized cascades of neutrophil and macrophage chemoattractants in cardiac grafts and support the proposal that early inflammatory events are required for optimal recruitment of T cells into allografts during the progression of acute rejection of cardiac allografts.

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