T cell growth factors (TCGFs) play a critical role in allograft rejection by promoting the activation and proliferation of alloreactive T cells. To determine whether IL-2 and IL-4 are of quintessential importance in allograft rejection and to identify possible alternative TCGFs, we have bred IL-2(-/-) and IL-4(-/-) double knockout (DKO) mice and studied islet allograft rejection using the DKO mice as allograft recipients. Although mononuclear leukocytes from DKO mice did not mount a proliferative response in vitro in response to anti-CD3 stimulation, crude islet allografts were vigorously rejected by DKO mice (mean survival time 17 ± 7, n = 8) as compared with wild-type controls (mean survival time 13 ± 4, n = 7). Treatment of DKO mice with anti-CD3 or rapamycin markedly prolonged the islet allograft survival. An analysis of intragraft cytokine gene transcripts showed robust expression of IL-7 and IL-15. In contrast, intragraft IL-9 gene transcripts were not detected in either wild-type or DKO mice. Provision of exogenous IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, or IL-15, but not IL-9, supports the proliferation of anti-CD3 activated DKO splenic leukocytes in vitro. Blocking the common γc of IL-2 receptor, a shared essential signaling component by receptors for IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-9, and IL-15, prolonged the survival of islet allografts in DKO mice. Hence, a T cell dependent allograft rejection enabled by rapamycin-sensitive signals or signals mediated by binding of the γc chain occurs in the absence of both IL-2 and IL-4. Non-T cell-derived TCGFs, especially IL-7 and IL-15, may play an active role in supporting allograft rejection.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Jul 15 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy