Induction of allograft tolerance in the absence of Fas-mediated apoptosis

Xian Chang Li, Yongsheng Li, Ingrid Dodge, Andrew D. Wells, Xin Xiao Zheng, Laurence A. Turka, Terry B. Strom

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40 Scopus citations


Using certain immunosuppressive regimens, IL-2 knockout (KO) mice, in contrast to wild-type (wt) controls, are resistant to the induction of allograft tolerance. The mechanism by which IL-2 regulates allograft tolerance is uncertain. As IL-2 KO mice have a profound defect in Fas- mediated apoptosis, we hypothesized that Fas-mediated apoptosis of alloreactive T cells may be critical in the acquisition of allograft tolerance. To definitively study the role of Fas in the induction of transplantation tolerance, we used Fas mutant B6.MRL-lpr mice as allograft recipients of islet and vascularized cardiac transplants. Alloantigen- stimulated proliferation and apoptosis of Fas-deficient cells were also studied in vivo. Fas mutant B6.MRL-lpr (H-2b) mice rapidly rejected fully MHC-mismatched DBA/2 (H-2(d)) islet allografts and vascularized cardiac allografts with a tempo that is comparable to wt control mice. Both wt and B6.MRL-lpr mice transplanted with fully MHC-mismatched islet allografts or cardiac allografts can be readily tolerized by either rapamycin or combined costimulation blockade (CTLA-4Ig plus anti-CD40L mAb). Despite the profound defect of Fas-mediated apoptosis, Fas-deficient T cells can still undergo apoptotic cell death in vivo in response to alloantigen stimulation. Our study suggests that: 1) Fas is not necessarily essential for allograft tolerance, and 2) Fas-mediated apoptosis is not central to the IL-2-dependent mechanism governing the acquisition of allograft tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2500-2507
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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