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Transpl Int. 1996;9 Suppl 1:S340-4.

Correlation between the intensity of cytomegalovirus infection and the amount of perivasculitis in aortic allografts.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University Hospital Maastricht, University of Limburg, The Netherlands.


We previously demonstrated that cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection enhanced perivascular inflammation in rat aortic allografts. In this study, we investigated the relationship between the CMV infection load and the magnitude of perivasculitis (chronic rejection) in aortic transplants. Rats received orthotopic abdominal aortic grafts, different degrees of total body irradiation (TBI) for immunosuppression and CMV inoculation. The spleens of the rats receiving 5 Gy of TBI contained more infectious virus and viral antigens than those of rats receiving 3 Gy of TBI or no TBI. Although the number of inflammatory cells infiltrating the perivascular area was decreased after TBI, CMV infection resulted in increased perivasculitis in rats that received 5 Gy of TBI as compared to non-infected animals. This virus-induced effect was characterized predominantly by an increased T-cell infiltration, including CD4 and CD8 T-cells. It is concluded that an enhanced systemic CMV infection during severe immunosuppressive therapy can accelerate the development of chronic rejection, which seems to be mediated mainly by T-cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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