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Transplant Proc. 1994 Oct;26(5):2564-6.

Cyclosporine and the reversibility of chronic vascular rejection.

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  • 1Centre for Clinical Immunobiology & Transplantation, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.


A model of chronic vascular rejection of cardiac allografts has been developed in inbred rats using the WF.1L/Gut congenic strain as donor into LEW recipients. The hearts beat for more than 200 days without the need for exogenous immunosuppression. The histopathology is characterized by cellular rejection, vasculitis, and myointimal arterial wall thickening, and by day 60 posttransplant, there are widespread occlusive vascular changes similar to those seen in human cardiac allografts. CsA, at a dose of 15 mg/kg/d, is effective in preventing as well as reversing the vasculopathy. These data (1) confirm other studies of ours on the reliability of the experimental model using this strain combination, (2) establish the time window of days 40 to 60 whereby mechanisms of lesion regression can be studied, (3) prove the MHC class I and class II antigen incompatibility are not a necessary condition for the generation of the vascular lesions, (4) show that CsA is a useful probe for study of the vasculopathy, and (5) suggest that the model is a useful probe of the mechanism of action of CsA.

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