The correlation of intragraft cytokine expression with rejection in rat small intestine transplantation

S. V. McDiarmid, D. G. Farmer, J. S. Kuniyoshi, M. Robert, A. Khadavi, A. Shaked, R. W. Busuttil

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51 Scopus citations


Rejection continues to be a major cause of graft loss in small intestine transplantation (SIT). We have studied, by semiquantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (rtPCR), the intragraft expression of cytokines relevant to rejection in a rat model. Heterotopic SIT grafts were performed from Lewis × Brown Norway F1 donors into Lewis recipients. The isograft control was Lewis into Lewis. Five animals in each isograft and allograft group were sacrificed on POD 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 14. mRNA was isolated from portions of the terminal ileum and rtPCR performed to amplify message for interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-2 receptor (IL-2R), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), and interferon gamma (IFN-γ). Semiquantitative analysis was performed using 32P radionuclide incorporation and scintillation counting. The results were expressed as percent activity compared with β-actin. Histologic correlation with cytokine expression was made. On POD 3 after SIT there was no evidence of rejection by histology and all cytokines studied showed no difference between the isograft and the allograft. On POD 5 the first evidence of mild rejection was seen on histology and IL-6, IFN-γ, TNF-α showed a significant up regulation in the allograft that persisted through POD 14. mRNA for IL-2 was not significantly upregulated until POD 7 and persisted until POD 14. IL-2R was constitutively expressed in both isograft and allograft and was not a reliable predictor of rejection. Histologic rejection was moderately severe by POD 7 and severe between POD 8 and 14 correlating with the increasing expression of IL-6, IFN-γ, and TNF-α. In summary, we have shown that increasing expression of mRNA for IL-6, IFN-γ, and TNF-α not only correlated with severity of rejection but that upregulation began early when histologic evidence of rejection first occurred.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-697
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 27 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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