Background. Transplant rejection has generally been considered a CD4 + T-cell-dependent immune process. CD4-independent, CD8+ T-cell rejection pathways have recently gained attention because of their relative resistance to immunosuppression. In the current study, the role of the allograft tissue in activation of these distinct pathways was examined by comparing host-immune responses with allogeneic pancreatic islets or hepatocytes transplanted across the same genetic disparity. Methods. To compare activation of CD4-dependent versus CD8-dependent alloimmunity, islets or hepatocytes retrieved from FVB/N (H-2q) mice were transplanted into CD8 + or CD4+ T-cell-reconstituted severe combined immunodeficiency mice, CD4 or CD8 knockout (KO) mice, and anti-CD4 monoclonal antibody (mAb) or anti-CD8 mAb treated C57BL/6 mice (all H-2b). The ability to immunomodulate CD4-dependent allograft rejection (in CD8 KO mice) was examined in the context of several mechanistically distinct immunotherapeutic strategies, including anti-CD4 mAb, donor-specific transfusion and anti-CD154 mAb, and anti-lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 mAb. Results. The studies demonstrate that, whereas hepatocytes evoke alloreactive CD4-dependent and (CD4-independent) CD8+ T-cell immune responses, allogeneic islets only activate CD4-dependent immune pathways. CD4-dependent host-immune responses initiated by pancreatic islet allografts were readily suppressed by a variety of short-term immunotherapies, whereas hepatocyte-initiated CD4-dependent alloimmune responses were not. Conclusions. These results demonstrate that immune characteristics of the specific allograft tissue uniquely influence the pattern of host immune responses such that the propensity to activate CD4- or CD8-dependent alloimmune responses can be distinguished. Furthermore, CD4-dependent immune responses activated by different tissues from the same donor strain are distinguished by their susceptibility to specific immunotherapy.
- CD4 and CD8 T cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas