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Am J Transplant. 2004 Apr;4(4):505-14.

Monoclonal antibody specific for TIRC7 induces donor-specific anergy and prevents rejection of cardiac allografts in mice.

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Institute of Medical Immunology, Humboldt-University of Berlin, Germany.


T cell immune response c-DNA (TIRC7) is up-regulated during the early stages of T-cell activation in response to alloantigens. In this study, we analyzed the effects of newly developed monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against TIRC7 in acute cardiac allograft rejection. Fully vascularized heterotopic allogeneic heart transplantation was performed in mice across a full-mismatch barrier (C57Bl/10 into CBA). Recipients received seven injections (day 0-7) of a novel anti-TIRC7 mAb or remained untreated. Graft survival, histology and ex vivo lymphocyte functions were tested. Targeting of TIRC7 with an anti-TIRC7 mAb diminishes lymphocyte infiltration into grafts resulting in delay of morphological graft damage and prolongation of allograft survival. The lymphocytes from anti-TIRC7 mAb-treated animals exhibit hypo-responsiveness without evidence of lymphocyte depletion against the donor allo-antigens. Proliferation and expression of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were down-regulated while interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-10 expression were spared. Moreover, anti-TIRC7 mAb enhanced up-regulation of CTLA-4 expression but suppressed up-regulation of CD25 on stimulated lymphocytes in vitro and in vivo. Ligation of TIRC7 has important effects on the regulation of co-stimulatory signaling pathways associated with suppressing of T-cell activation. Targeting of TIRC7 may therefore provide a novel therapeutic approach for modulating T cell immune responses during organ transplantation.

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