Alloreactive CD8 T-cell primed/memory responses and accelerated graft rejection in B-cell-deficient sensitized mice

Haofeng Ji, Xiu Da Shen, Feng Gao, Ronald W. Busuttil, Yuan Zhai, Jerzy W. Kupiec-Weglinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The sensitized patients can develop an accelerated form of graft rejection mediated by humoral and T-cell-mediated responses, which are resistant to currently used immunosuppression. Methods and results: In our model of fulminant cardiac allograft rejection in sensitized hosts, groups of wild-type (WT) and B-cell-deficient (BKO) mice (B6) were challenged with skin grafts (B/c). Alloreactive CD8 T effector (Teff) activation and T memory (Tmem) differentiation during a 60-day follow-up period were reduced in the absence of B-cell help. The expression of interleukin (IL)-2Rα, IL-7Rα, and IL-15Rα, which support/program CD8 Teff/Tmem expansion, differentiation, and survival, were selectively decreased in BKO hosts. Unlike in WT, in vivo cytotoxic activity analysis of alloreactive Tmem recall response has revealed decreased donor-type (B/c) but not third-party (C3H) cell lysis in sensitized BKO hosts. However, such impaired allo-Ag specific Tmem recall function was insufficient to markedly prolong cardiac allograft survival in sensitized BKO recipients. Indeed, despite quantitative and statistically significant differences between both animal groups, the biological impact of decreased CD8 Teff/Tmem activation and function in the sensitization phase was marginal. Indeed, cardiac allografts underwent fulminant rejection in sensitized BKO, albeit with somewhat delayed kinetics. Interestingly, unlike in naïve counterparts, the rejection cascade remained CD154 blockade-resistant, evidenced by comparable kinetics, and intra-graft cytokine gene profiles in MR1 monoclonal antibody-treated sensitized WT and BKO hosts. Conclusion: Although B cells were important for optimal alloreactive CD8 Teff/Tmem function in the sensitization phase, the fulminant rejection of cardiac allografts was B-cell-independent, and CD154 blockade-resistant, as in WT hosts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1075-1081
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 27 2011


  • Accelerated rejection
  • B cells
  • CD8 T cells
  • Memory T cells
  • Sensitized recipient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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