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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.

Author information

1
Department of General Surgery, Section of Transplantation, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA. dyin@surgery.bsd.uchicago.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSION:

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.

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