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J Immunol. 1989 Jan 15;142(2):463-70.

Transfusion induces blood donor-specific suppressor cells.

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  • 1Nuffield Department of Surgery, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.


Transfusion with blood from the organ donor before transplantation can prolong the survival of renal allografts in the rat. To determine if the beneficial effect of preoperative blood transfusion was due to the generation of donor-specific suppressor cells, in vivo and in vitro adoptive transfer experiments were performed. Lymphoid cells were harvested from transfused and untreated rats. These cells were then either (1) transferred to lightly irradiated (200 R) syngeneic hosts which were subsequently challenged with a kidney allograft (in vivo assay) or (2) titrated as regulator cells into naive unidirectional MLC such that the regulator and responder populations were syngeneic. In the LEW-RT1 to DA-RT1av1 strain combination, the adoptive transfer of thoracic duct lymph (TDL) or lymph node (LN) cells (5 x 10(7) to 7.5 x 10(7) cells) from DA animals transfused with LEW blood, 7 days previously into syngeneic (DA), lightly irradiated (200 R) hosts resulted in the indefinite survival of LEW kidney allografts. The phenomenon was blood donor-specific and dose-dependent. In contrast the adoptive transfer of spleen cells (10(7) to 10(8] from blood transfused hosts 7 days after transfusion had no effect on renal allograft survival. In vitro the addition of LN or TDL regulator cells, harvested from DA rats transfused with LEW blood, to a unidirectional MLC (DA responders, LEW stimulators) resulted in a significant depression of the proliferative response when compared with the proliferation of these same cells without the addition of these regulator cells or with the addition of LN or TDL regulator cells from a DA rat transfused with third party (PVG-RT1c) blood. The depression of the proliferative response observed in vitro, was blood donor specific. When LN or TDL regulator cells from a DA rat transfused with PVG-RT1c blood were added to a unidirectional MLC between DA responders and PVG stimulators, a significant depression in the proliferative response was observed. These in vitro findings were confirmed in two other strain combinations (LEW-PVG, and DA-PVG). Thus a single blood transfusion results in the induction of donor-specific suppressor cells detectable both in vivo and in vitro 7 days after transfusion in some but not all lymphoid compartments.

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