Send to

Choose Destination
J Immunol. 2011 Dec 15;187(12):6268-80. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1003774. Epub 2011 Nov 14.

Neutralizing IL-6 reduces human arterial allograft rejection by allowing emergence of CD161+ CD4+ regulatory T cells.

Author information

Department of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Perioperative injuries to an allograft exacerbate graft rejection, which in humans is primarily mediated by effector memory T cells. IL-6 transcripts in human coronary artery segments rapidly increase posttransplantation into immunodeficient mouse hosts compared with those of pretransplant specimens and fall dramatically by 30 d. Adoptive transfer of human PBMCs allogeneic to the artery 2 d postoperatively results in T cell infiltrates and intimal expansion 4 wk later. Ab neutralization of human IL-6 reduces the magnitude of intimal expansion and total T cell infiltration but increases the relative expression of CD161 while decreasing other Th17 markers. Coculture of MHC class II-expressing human endothelial cells (ECs) with allogeneic CD4(+) memory T cells results in T cell activation and EC secretion of IL-6. Neutralizing IL-6 in primary allogeneic T cell-EC cocultures results in enhanced T cell proliferation of CD161(+) CD4(+) T cells, reduces total T cell proliferation upon restimulation in secondary cultures (an effect dependent on CD161(+) T cells), increases expression of FOXP3 in CD161(+) T cells, and generates T cells that suppress proliferation of freshly isolated T cells. These data suggest that IL-6 released from injured allograft vessels enhances allogeneic T cell infiltration and intimal expansion in a model of human allograft rejection by inhibiting an increase in CD161(+) regulatory T cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center