Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), an established angiogenesis factor, is expressed in allografts undergoing rejection, but its function in the rejection process has not been defined. Here, we initially determined that VEGF is functional in the trafficking of human T cells into skin allografts in vivo in the humanized SCID mouse. In vitro, we found that VEGF enhanced endothelial cell expression of the chemokines monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 and IL-8, and in combination with IFN-γ synergistically induced endothelial cell production of the potent T cell chemoattractant IFN-inducible protein-10 (IP-10). Treatment of BALB/c (H-2d) recipients of fully MHC-mismatched C57BL/6 (H-2b) donor hearts with anti-VEGF markedly inhibited T cell infiltration of allografts and acute rejection. Anti-VEGF failed to inhibit T cell activation responses in vivo, but inhibited intragraft expression of several endothelial cell adhesion molecules and chemokines, including IP-10. In addition, whereas VEGF expression was increased, neovascularization was not associated with acute rejection, and treatment of allograft recipients with the angiogenesis inhibitor endostatin failed to inhibit leukocyte infiltration of the grafts. Thus, VEGF appears to be functional in acute allograft rejection via its effects on leukocyte trafficking. Together, these observations provide mechanistic insight into the proinflammatory function of VEGF in immunity.
Marlies E.J. Reinders, Masayuki Sho, Atsushi Izawa, Ping Wang, Debabrata Mukhopadhyay, Kerith E. Koss, Christopher S. Geehan, Andrew D. Luster, Mohamed H. Sayegh, David M. Briscoe
Inducible costimulatory molecule (ICOS) plays a pivotal role in T cell activation and Th1/Th2 differentiation. ICOS blockade has disparate effects on immune responses depending on the timing of blockade. Its role in transplantation immunity, however, remains incompletely defined. We used a vascularized mouse cardiac allograft model to explore the role of ICOS signaling at different time points after transplantation, targeting immune initiation (early blockade) or the immune effector phase (delayed blockade). In major histocompatibility–mismatched recipients, ICOS blockade prolonged allograft survival using both protocols but did so more effectively in the delayed-treatment group. By contrast, in minor histocompatibility–mismatched recipients, early blockade accelerated rejection and delayed blockade prolonged graft survival. Alloreactive CD4+ T cell expansion and alloantibody production were suppressed in both treatment groups, whereas only delayed blockade resulted in suppression of effector CD8+ T cell generation. After delayed ICOS blockade, there was a diminished frequency of allospecific IL-10–producing cells and an increased frequency of both IFN-γ– and IL-4–producing cells. The beneficial effects of ICOS blockade in regulating allograft rejection were seen in the absence of CD28 costimulation but required CD8+ cells, cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4, and an intact signal transducer and activator of transcription–6 pathway. These data define the complex functions of the ICOS-B7h pathway in regulating alloimmune responses in vivo.
Hiroshi Harada, Alan D. Salama, Masayuki Sho, Atsushi Izawa, Sigrid E. Sandner, Toshiro Ito, Hisaya Akiba, Hideo Yagita, Arlene H. Sharpe, Gordon J. Freeman, Mohamed H. Sayegh
Many strategies have been proposed to induce tolerance to transplanted tissue in rodents; however, few if any have shown equal efficacy when tested in nonhuman primate transplant models. We hypothesized that a critical distinction between specific pathogen-free mice and nonhuman primates or human patients is their acquired immune history. Here, we show that a heterologous immune response — specifically, virally induced alloreactive memory — is a potent barrier to tolerance induction. A critical threshold of memory T cells is needed to promote rejection, and CD8+ “central” memory T cells are primarily responsible. Finally, treatment with deoxyspergualin, an inhibitor of NF-κB translocation, together with costimulation blockade, synergistically impairs memory T cell activation and promotes antigen-specific tolerance of memory. These data offer a potential explanation for the difficulty encountered when inducing tolerance in nonhuman primates and human patients and provide insight into the signaling pathways essential for memory T cell activation and function.
Andrew B. Adams, Matthew A. Williams, Thomas R. Jones, Nozomu Shirasugi, Megan M. Durham, Susan M. Kaech, E. John Wherry, Thandi Onami, J. Gibson Lanier, Kenneth E. Kokko, Thomas C. Pearson, Rafi Ahmed, Christian P. Larsen
The Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are recently discovered germline-encoded receptors on APCs that are critically important in innate immune recognition of microbial pathogens. However, their role in solid-organ transplantation is unknown. To explore this role, we employed a skin allograft model using mice with targeted deletion of the universal TLR signal adaptor protein, MyD88. We report that minor antigen–mismatched (HY-mismatched) allograft rejection cannot occur in the absence of MyD88 signaling. Furthermore, we show that the inability to reject these allografts results from a reduced number of mature DCs in draining lymph nodes, leading to impaired generation of anti–graft-reactive T cells and impaired Th1 immunity. Hence, this work demonstrates that TLRs can be activated in a transplant setting and not solely by infections. These results link innate immunity to the initiation of the adaptive alloimmune response.
Daniel R. Goldstein, Bethany M. Tesar, Shizuo Akira, Fadi G. Lakkis
Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) mediated by donor T cells recognizing host alloantigens is associated with beneficial graft-versus-tumor effects in recipients of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplants. Since leukemias and lymphomas reside largely within the lymphohematopoietic system, we have proposed that the desired graft-versus-leukemia or graft-versus-lymphoma effect can be separated from the complication of GvHD by confinement of the graft-versus-host alloresponse to the lymphohematopoietic tissues. Since the new sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor agonist immunosuppressive drug FTY720 leads to trapping of T cells in secondary lymphoid tissues, we evaluated the possibility that this drug could diminish GvHD, a disease involving epithelial target tissues, while permitting a beneficial alloresponse to take place within the lymphohematopoietic system, leading to graft-versus-lymphoma effects. We demonstrate here that FTY720 markedly reduces GvHD in a clinically relevant, haploidentical strain combination, while permitting antitumor effects against a T cell lymphoma of unshared host MHC haplotype to proceed unhindered. These results establish a potential new immunotherapeutic approach to separating graft-versus-leukemia effects from GvHD.
Yong-Mi Kim, Teviah Sachs, Wannee Asavaroengchai, Roderick Bronson, Megan Sykes
Andreas G. Katopodis, Richard G. Warner, Rudolf O. Duthaler, Markus B. Streiff, Armin Bruelisauer, Olivier Kretz, Birgit Dorobek, Elke Persohn, Hendrik Andres, Alain Schweitzer, Gebhard Thoma, Willy Kinzy, Valerie F.J. Quesniaux, Emanuele Cozzi, Hugh F.S. Davies, Rafael Mañez, David White
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