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J Immunol. 1984 Feb;132(2):1013-8.

Induction of specific unresponsiveness to heart allografts in mongrel dogs treated with total lymphoid irradiation and antithymocyte globulin.


The survival of heterotopic heart allografts was determined in mongrel dogs treated with total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents. TLI alone (total dose, 1800 rad) minimally prolonged graft survival as compared with untreated controls. However, marked synergy was observed when TLI was combined with a 10-day post-transplant course of rabbit anti-dog thymocyte globulin (ATG). Approximately 40% of recipients given TLI and ATG showed specific unresponsiveness, as judged by the lack of rejection on serial biopsies for more than 1 yr and the prompt rejection of third party hearts. The addition of post-transplant azathioprine (90 to 180 days) to the TLI and ATG regimen increased the mortality of recipients and reduced the fraction of dogs showing specific unresponsiveness. Infusion of donor bone marrow cells at the time of heart transplantation failed to induce specific unresponsiveness in recipients given TLI alone or TLI in combination with post-transplant methotrexate, cyclosporine A, or ATG. The results indicate that the combination of TLI and a brief course of ATG without marrow transplantation was the most effective regimen for the induction of specific unresponsiveness in mongrel dogs.

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