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Nat Immunol. 2002 Sep;3(9):844-51. Epub 2002 Aug 12.

Cross-primed CD8(+) T cells mediate graft rejection via a distinct effector pathway.

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Department of Immunology, Lerner Research Institute, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


To prevent bystander destruction of healthy host tissues, cytotoxic CD8(+) T lymphocytes are fitted with specific receptors that direct their destructive forces specifically against chosen targets. We show here, however, that anti-H-Y monospecific, H-2(b-restricted MataHari CD8(+) T cells reject H-2(k) male skin grafts, with which they cannot directly interact. Such rejection is interferon-gamma-dependent and only occurs if the recipient endothelium expresses H-2(b). The findings suggest an alternate indirect effector pathway that requires processing and presentation of the donor H-Y antigen by recipient endothelium and have implications for both transplantation and autoimmune disease.

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