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Transplantation. 1992 Feb;53(2):477-82.

Allograft rejection in CD4+ T cell-reconstituted athymic nude rats--the nonessential role of host-derived CD8+ cells.

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University Department of Surgery, Western Infirmary, Glasgow, Scotland.


PVG-rnu/rnu nude rats reject fully allogenic renal (DA) and skin (BN, AO) allografts after the adoptive transfer of naive CD4+ T cells alone, but rejection is accompanied by the accumulation of many nude-derived CD8+ leukocytes within the graft. In addition, mononuclear cells infiltrating the rejecting renal grafts in these animals display cytotoxic activity in vitro against specific and third-party alloantigens. In this investigation we have treated CD4+ T cell-restored nude rats bearing renal or skin allografts with the mAb MRC OX8 to deplete the host of CD8+ cells. In vivo treatment with OX8 completely eliminated CD8+ cells from rejecting grafts of both kidney and skin, but it did not prevent graft rejection, nor did OX8 treatment abolish the cytotoxic effector cells found in nude rat spleen or in graft-infiltrating cells (GIC) of rejecting renal allografts. The nature of the cytotoxic activity was examined with anti-CD3 mAb 1F4, which was shown to block conventional CD8+ Tc killing in vitro but did not inhibit allogeneic target cell lysis by spleen cells from nude rats. The cytotoxic activity found in GIC of rejecting allografts was not inhibited by anti-CD3 mAb, suggesting that these cytotoxic effector cells were CD3-CD8- and were of extrathymic origin. We conclude that non-thymus-derived CD8+ GIC are not essential for allograft rejection in CD4+ T cell-restored nude rats.

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