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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2002 Jul;21(7):738-50.

Use of recombinase activation gene-2 deficient mice to ascertain the role of cellular and humoral immune responses in the development of chronic rejection.

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1
Department of Surgery, Section of Cellular Transplantation, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Given its multifactorial etiology, the relative contribution of anti-donor cellular and humoral immune responses in the pathogenesis of chronic rejection is as yet ambiguous. We hypothesized that alloreactive T and B cells play a seminal role in the development of this lesion.

METHODS:

To address this hypothesis, RAG-2(-/-) mice were used as donors and recipients in a well-established murine model of aortic transplantation. Grafts were transplanted across the following groups: Group I: C3H --> C3H; Group II: Wild-type [WT] 129Sv (H-2(b)) --> C3H (H-2(k)); Group III: C3H --> WT 129Sv; Group IV: 129SvEv RAG-2(-/-) --> C3H; and Group V: C3H --> 129SvEv RAG-2(-/-). Grafts were harvested at d40 to 146 post-transplantation for morphologic and immunohistochemical analyses and semi-quantitative RT-PCR was employed to evaluate the intragraft mRNA expression of various immune mediators. Mixed lymphocyte reaction and complement-mediated alloantibody cytotoxicity assays were performed to determine anti-donor proliferative and humoral responses, respectively.

RESULTS:

Unlike that across the syngeneic combination (Group I), marked intimal thickening with corresponding luminal narrowing was observed in the majority of the aortic allografts (Groups II-IV). On the contrary, the morphology of C3H aortic allografts harvested from the majority of the RAG-2(-/-) was remarkably preserved. Correspondingly, anti-donor proliferative and humoral immune responses were undetectable in C3H --> RAG-2(-/-) recipients as was the intragraft mRNA expression of the Th(1) and the Th(2)-type cytokines.

CONCLUSIONS:

Taken together, these data suggest that in this murine model of aortic allotransplantation, donor-specific cellular and humoral responses play a dominant role in the initiation and perpetuation of chronic rejection.

PMID:
12100900
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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