Non-depleting anti-CD4, but not anti-CD8, antibody induces long-term survival of xenogeneic and allogeneic hearts in α1,3-galactosyltransferase knockout (GT-Ko) mice

Academic Article


  • The anti-galactose-α1,3-galactose (Gal) antibody (Ab) response following pig-to-human transplantation is vigorous and largely resistant to currently available immunosuppression. The recent generation of GT-Ko mice provides a unique opportunity to study the immunological basis of xenograft-elicited anti-Gal Ab response in vivo, and to test the efficacy of various strategies at controlling this Ab response [1]. In this study, we compared the ability of non-depleting anti-CD4 and anti-CD8 to control rejection and antibody production in GT-Ko mice following xenograft and allograft transplantation. Hearts from baby Lewis rat or C3H mice were transplanted heterotopically into GT-Ko. Non-depleting anti-CD4 (YTS177) and anti-CD8 (YTS105) Abs were used at 1 mg/mouse, and given as four doses daily from day -2 to 1 then q.o.d. till day 21. Xenograft rejection occurred at 3 to 5 days post-transplantation in untreated GT-Ko recipients, and was histologically characterized as vascular rejection. Anti-CD4, but not anti-CD8, Ab treatment prolonged xenograft survival to 68 to 74 days and inhibited anti-Gal Ab as well as xeno-Ab production. In four of the five hearts from anti-CD4 mAbs-treated GT-Ko mice, we observed classic signs of chronic rejection, namely, thickened intima in the lumen of vessels, significant IgM deposition, fibrosis and modest mononuclear cell infiltrate of Mac-l+ macrophages and scattered T cells (CD8>CD4). Xenograft rejection in untreated, as well as anti-CD4- and anti-CD8-treated, recipients was associated with increased intragraft IL-6, IFN-γ and IL-10 mRNA. C3H allografts were rejected in 7 to 9 days by untreated GT-Ko mice and were histologically characterized as cellular rejection. Treatment with anti-CD4 and anti-CD8 mAb resulted in graft survivals of >94.8 and 11.8 days, respectively. Anti-CD4 mAb treatment resulted in a transient inhibition of alloreactive and anti-Gal Ab production. The presence of circulating alloreactive and anti-Gal Abs at >50 days post-transplant was associated with significant IgM and IgG deposition in the graft. Yet, in the anti-CD4 mAb-treated group, the allografts showed no signs of rejection at the time of sacrifice (>100 days post-transplantation). All rejected allografts had elevated levels of intragraft IL-6, IFN-γ and IL-10 mRNA, while the long-surviving anti-CD4-treated allografts had reduced mRNA levels of these cytokines. Collectively, our studies suggest that the elicited xeno-antibody production and anti-Gal Ab production in GT-Ko mice are CD4+ T-cell dependent. The majority of xenografts succumbed to chronic rejection, while allografts survived with minimal histological change, despite elevated levels of circulating alloAbs. Thus, immunosuppression with anti-CD4 mAb therapy induces long-term survival of allografts more effectively than to xenografts.
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    Author List

  • Chong ASF; Ma L; Yin D; Shen J; Blinder L; Xiulong X; Williams JW; Byrne G; Diamond LE; Logan JS
  • Start Page

  • 275
  • End Page

  • 283
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 4