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Hum Immunol. 1997 Mar;53(1):57-63.

Mechanism of liver allograft rejection: the indirect recognition pathway.

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Università Degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Instituto di II Clinica Chirurgica, Italy.


Transplant rejection is mediated by the direct and indirect pathways. To explore the role of the indirect recognition pathway in the rejection of liver allografts, T cells obtained from peripheral blood were expanded in medium containing IL-2 and tested in LDA for reactivity to synthetic peptides corresponding to the hypervariable regions of the mismatched HLA-DR antigen(s) of the donor. Serial investigations of 17 recipients showed that T-cell reactivity to donor HLA-DR peptides was strongly associated with acute rejection episodes. In recipients carrying a graft that was mismatched by two HLA-DR alleles, a single donor antigen was targeted during primary rejection, although allopeptide reactivity against the second HLA-DR antigen was observed during subsequent episodes of acute rejection. The finding that allopeptide reactivity occurs early following transplantation and is predictive of rejection is consistent with the notion that processing of donor alloantigens by recipient APCs activates the indirect T-cell recognition pathway that plays a major role in initiating and amplifying allograft rejection.

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