Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Invest. 2002 Jun;109(11):1471-9.

Th1 cytokines, programmed cell death, and alloreactive T cell clone size in transplant tolerance.

Author information

Laboratory of Immunogenetics and Transplantation, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The Th1 cytokines IL-2 and IFN-gamma, which inhibit T cell proliferation and promote activation induced cell death, may be required to diminish alloreactive T cell numbers and to foster tolerance across full allogeneic barriers. However, we hypothesized that these cytokines might be dispensable when the alloreactive T cell clone size is relatively small, as is seen in recipients of minor-mismatched grafts. We show that alloreactive T cell clone size of C57BL/6 mice against multiple minor-mismatched 129X1/sv mice was approximately 4-9-fold smaller than that against MHC-mismatched BALB/c mice. In the MHC-mismatched combination, CD28-B7 blockade by CTLA4Ig induced long-term graft survival in wild-type recipients, but this treatment was ineffective in IFNgamma(-/-) or IL-2(-/-) recipients. In contrast, in the minor-mismatched combination, CTLA4Ig induced long-term allograft survival in wild-type, IFNgamma(-/-), and IL-2(-/-) recipients. Bcl-x(L) transgenic animals, which are defective in "passive" T cell death, are likewise sensitive to the effects of CTLA4Ig only in the setting of the minor-mismatch grafts. Therefore, the alloreactive T cell clone size is an important determinant affecting the need for Th1 cytokines and T cell death in tolerance induction. These data have implications for the design of tolerance strategies in transplant recipients with varying degrees of MHC mismatching.

[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