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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2002 Dec;22(12):1217-25.

Mechanisms of immunotherapeutic intervention by anti-CD154 (CD40L) antibody in high-risk corneal transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, The Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School, 20 Staniford Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


This study aimed to determine the effects of anti-CD154 on T cell cytokine profiles and ocular chemokine gene expression after high-risk corneal transplantation and to specifically determine if CD154 blockade is associated with a switch from a Th1 to a Th2 alloimmune response. Mice were used as recipients of syngeneic or multiple minor H or MHC antigen-mismatched corneal grafts. Recipient beds were neovascularized (high-risk). Hosts were randomized to receive either anti-CD154 antibody or control immunoglobulin (Ig) perioperatively. Two weeks after corneal transplantation, allospecific delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) was evaluated. Frequencies of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-, interleukin-2 (IL-2)-, IL-4-, and IL-5-secreting T cells in the hosts were measured by enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay. Ocular chemokine gene expression in anti-CD154-treated and control hamster Ig-treated groups was determined using a multiprobe ribonuclease protection assay (RPA). Leukocyte infiltration of corneal grafts was evaluated microscopically. Anti-CD154-treated mice did not exhibit allospecific DTH. The frequencies of Th1 cytokine-producing but not Th2 cytokine-producing T cells were significantly reduced in anti-CD154-treated hosts. Postoperative mRNA levels of RANTES and macrophage inflammatory protein-1beta (MIP-1beta) in anti-CD154-treated eyes were substantially suppressed compared with hamster Ig-treated controls. Leukocyte infiltration was profoundly suppressed in grafts of anti-CD154-treated hosts. These data demonstrate that blockade of the CD40-CD154 costimulatory pathway after corneal transplantation inhibits Th1-mediated responses but does not induce a switch to a Th2-specific response. In addition, anti-CD154 therapy suppresses ocular chemokine gene expression and leukocytic infiltration into allografts.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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