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Eur J Immunol. 1986 Apr;16(4):440-50.

The roles of interdigitating cells and natural killer cells in the rapid rejection of allogeneic lymphocytes.


The fate of radiolabeled allogeneic thoracic duct lymphocytes injected into congenitally athymic, nude rats was followed by autoradiography and electron microscopy. The allogeneic cells entered the host lymphoid organs at a normal rate, but once inside the lymphoid tissue they were rapidly phagocytozed by interdigitating cells (IDC) situated in the lymph node paracortex and the splenic periarteriolar lymphoid sheaths. Neither host nor donor T cells were required to initiate phagocytosis, as purified donor B cells were also avidly ingested by the athymic host IDC. Compared with fully allogeneic cells phagocytosis of semiallogeneic donor cells was much less efficient. When natural killer cell activity was blocked by preinjecting the recipients with antibodies against natural killer cells (anti-asialo GM1 or MRC OX-8) phagocytosis of the allogeneic cells was strongly reduced. As IDC did not bind these antibodies, the finding indicates that natural killer cells were needed to discriminate between own and foreign lymphocytes and to kill the allogeneic cells, which were then ingested by surrounding IDC. This was further supported by the observation that dendritic, constitutively Ia+ cells from peripheral lymph, phenotypically identical to IDC, did not lyse or phagocytoze allogeneic lymphocytes in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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