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Am J Transplant. 2002 Jul;2(6):526-34.

Acute xenograft rejection mediated by antibodies produced independently of TH1/TH2 cytokine profiles.

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Department of General Surgery, Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA.


There is substantial support for the hypothesis that T(H)1 cytokine responses are critical for the normal elaboration of allograft rejection. Recent studies by Wang et al. (1) underscore the importance of T(H)2 responses in xenograft rejection and revealed that T(H)1 cytokines, IL-12 and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), can negatively regulate the development of humoral responses necessary for xenograft rejection. Their exceptional studies prompted us to test whether the ability of allografts to elicit cellular rejection and xenografts to induce humoral rejection also result from the differential ability to induce T(H)1 and T(H)2 responses. We compared the kinetics of antibody and cytokine (IFN-gamma and IL-4) production in C57BL/6 mice following allograft transplantation with BALB/c hearts and in C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice following transplantation with Lewis rat hearts. We also compared the ability of BALB/c mice, deficient in the ability to produce IL-4 or IFN-gamma, to reject xenografts and produce xenoantibodies. We observed that T(H)1/T(H)2 cytokine production minimally affected the kinetics of graft rejection but regulated the magnitude of IgG subclass production. Anti-graft IgM played a critical role in initiating acute antibody-mediated xenograft rejection, and the production antigraft IgM was unaffected by IL-4 or IFN-gamma deficiency. In contrast to the report by Wang et al. (1), we conclude that antibody-mediated xenograft rejection in the concordant Lewis rat heart-to-C57BL/6 mouse xenotransplantation model is dependent on anti-IgM production but independent of T(H) cytokine profiles.

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