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J Immunol. 2005 Oct 15;175(8):4886-96.

Memory T cells and their costimulators in human allograft injury.

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  • 1Section of Immunobiology, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Both CD4(+) and CD8(+) human memory but not naive T cells respond to allogeneic human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC) in vitro by secreting cytokines and by proliferating. Several recently identified costimulators, namely, 4-1BB ligand, ICOS ligand, and OX40 ligand, are up-regulated on cultured HDMEC in response to TNF or coculture with allogeneic T cells. Blockade of these costimulators each partially reduces IFN-gamma and IL-2 secretion and proliferation of previously resting memory T cells. The effects of these costimulators are overlapping but not identical. Memory but not naive T cells are the principal effectors of microvascular injury in human skin allografts following adoptive transfer into immunodeficient mice. Furthermore, blocking 4-1BB ligand, ICOS ligand, or OX40 ligand in this model reduces human skin allograft injury and T cell effector molecule expression. These data demonstrate that human memory T cells respond to microvascular endothelial cells and can injure allografts in vivo without priming. Furthermore, several recently described costimulators contribute to these processes.

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