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J Immunol. 2008 Apr 1;180(7):4714-21.

Combined CXCR3/CCR5 blockade attenuates acute and chronic rejection.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Chemokine-chemokine receptor interactions orchestrate mononuclear cells recruitment to the allograft, leading to acute and chronic rejection. Despite biologic redundancy, several experimental studies have demonstrated the importance of CXCR3 and CCR5 in acute rejection of allografts. In these studies, deficiency or blockade of CXCR3 or CCR5 led to prolongation of allograft survival, yet allografts were ultimately lost to acute rejection. Given the above findings and the specificity of mononuclear cells bearing CXCR3 and CCR5, we hypothesized that combined blockade of CXCR3 and CCR5 will lead to indefinite (>100 days) graft survival in a full MHC-mismatched murine cardiac allograft model. The donor hearts in the control group were rejected in 6 +/- 1 days after transplantation. Combined blockade of CXCR3 and CCR5 prolonged allograft survival >15-fold vs the control group; all allografts survived for >100 days. More importantly, the donor hearts did not display any intimal lesions characteristic of chronic rejection. Further analysis of the donor hearts in the CXCR3/CCR5 blockade group demonstrated graft infiltration with CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells expressing the Foxp3 gene. Depletion of CD25(+) cells in the combined CXCR3 and CCR5 blockade group resulted in acute rejection of the allografts in 22 +/- 2 days. Combined CXCR3 and CCR5 blockade also reduced alloantigen-specific T lymphocyte proliferation. Combined CXCR3 and CCR5 blockade is effective in preventing acute and chronic rejection in a robust murine model. This effect is mediated, in part, by CD25(+) regulatory T cell recruitment and control of T lymphocyte proliferation.

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