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Dev Immunol. 1992;3(1):45-50.

Lack of peripherally induced tolerance to established skin allografts in immunologically reconstituted scid mice.

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Department of Pathology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington 06030.


The mechanism by which the antigen-specific immune system distinguishes between foreign antigens (toward which it mounts an immune response) and self-antigens (of which it is tolerant) is not completely understood. Studies using "superantigens" and transgenic mice have allowed investigations into some of the mechanisms of clonal deletion, anergy, and peripheral tolerance. In the present report, we have attempted to develop a new model system to investigate the possible mechanism(s) of peripheral tolerance to allografts. In this system, skin grafts from C57BL/6J (B6; H-2b) mice are grafted onto T- and B-lymphocyte-deficient C.B-17-scid/scid (H-2d; hereafter referred to as scid) mice. Because of their lack of functional lymphocytes, the scid mice readily accept the allogeneic skin grafts. After the allografts healed, the scid mice were reconstituted with T-cell-deficient fetal liver from coisogeneic C.B-17-+/+ mice or bone marrow from weanling congenitally athymic BALB/c-nu/nu (H-2d; hereafter referred to as nude) mice. Upon immunological reconstitution, the scid mice rejected the established B6 skin allografts, suggesting that an immune system developing in the presence of an intact peripheral skin allograft fails to develop tolerance to the peripheral allograft. This model system may be useful for the study of the mechanisms required for the induction of peripheral tolerance.

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