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Transplantation. 2002 Nov 15;74(9):1236-41.

Role of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the rejection of concordant pancreas xenografts.

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



We studied the ability of CD4 and CD8 T cells to induce rejection of pancreas xenografts in a concordant combination using rat pancreas xenografts as donors and chemically induced diabetic mice as recipients.


Lewis rat (2 to 3 weeks old) pancreas xenografts were transplanted into streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice. Lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine production were analyzed in vitro. All pancreas xenografts were assessed by functional (blood glucose) and histopathologic examinations.


Lewis rat pancreas grafts were rejected within 10 to 13 days, with mononuclear cell infiltrate and tissue necrosis in STZ-induced diabetic mice. A predominant T cell receptor alphabeta -CD4 cell (on day 4) and T cell receptor alphabeta -CD8 cell (on day 8) infiltrate and IgM deposition were found in the pancreas xenografts after transplantation. Anti-CD4 (GK1.5), but not anti-CD8 (YTS169.4), monoclonal antibodies resulted in a prolonged survival of Lewis rat pancreas xenografts. Lewis pancreas xenografts were permanently accepted by CD4 knockout mice but not by CD8 knockout mice. The pancreas xenografts were acutely rejected with a mean survival time of 15.3 days in B cell-deficient mice (microMT/microMT). Transfer of CD4 but not CD8 spleen cells from naïve C57BL/6 mice into Rag2 mice led to acute rejection of transplanted pancreas xenografts. However, activated CD8 spleen cells elicited rejection of Lewis rat pancreas xenografts in SZT-induced diabetic mice.


The current results show that CD4 T cells are necessary and sufficient for mediating the rejection of Lewis rat pancreas xenografts in STZ-induced diabetic mice. However, CD8 cells, when activated, can also induce acute rejection of concordant pancreas xenografts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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