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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2012 Oct;23(10):1701-16. Epub 2012 Aug 9.

Absence of MyD88 signaling induces donor-specific kidney allograft tolerance.

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Transplant Research Group, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a fundamental role in innate immunity and provide a link between innate and adaptive responses to an allograft; however, whether the development of acute and chronic allograft rejection requires TLR signaling is unknown. Here, we studied TLR signaling in a fully MHC-mismatched, life-sustaining murine model of kidney allograft rejection. Mice deficient in the TLR adaptor protein MyD88 developed donor antigen-specific tolerance, which protected them from both acute and chronic allograft rejection and increased their survival after transplantation compared with wild-type controls. Administration of an anti-CD25 antibody to MyD88-deficient recipients depleted CD4(+)CD25(+)FoxP3(+) cells and broke tolerance. In addition, defective development of Th17 immune responses to alloantigen both in vitro and in vivo occurred, resulting in an increased ratio of Tregs to Th17 effectors. Thus, MyD88 deficiency was associated with an altered balance of Tregs over Th17 cells, promoting tolerance instead of rejection. This study provides evidence that targeting innate immunity may be a clinically relevant strategy to facilitate transplantation tolerance.

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