Replacement of graft-resident donor-type antigen presenting cells alters the tempo and pathogenesis of murine cardiac allograft rejection

Alyssa M. Krasinskas, Simon D. Eiref, Andrew D. McLean, Daniel Kreisel, Andrew E. Gelman, Sicco H. Popma, Jonni S. Moore, Bruce R. Rosengard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background. Graft-resident antigen presenting cells (ArCs) are potent stimulators of the alloresponse. To test whether replacement of graft-resident donor-type APCs with those of recipient-type alters allorecognition and the pathogenesis of both acute and chronic rejection, we created chimeric hearts for transplantation into naive recipients. Methods. To replace donor-type APCs with those of recipient-type, chimeric animals were created by bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in fully allogeneic mouse and rat strain combinations. The degree of Arc replacement in chimeric organs was assessed phenotypically and functionally. Chimeric hearts were transplanted heterotopically into untreated recipients. Results. Flow cytometric and immunohistochemical analysis did not detect residual bone marrow recipient-type ArCs in mouse BMT chimeras. Although semi-quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction detected 0.001-0.01% residual cells, ArCs isolated from chimeric organs were functionally unable to stimulate donor-type cells. When transplanted into naive recipients, chimeric mouse hearts had significantly prolonged survival but were nevertheless rejected acutely. Similar results were obtained in the ACI → LEW rat strain combination. However, in the PVG → DA rat model, the majority of chimeric hearts survived > 100 days and all long-surviving hearts developed cardiac allograft vasculopathy. Conclusions. BMT leads to near complete replacement of organ-resident APCs. The virtual absence of donor-type APCs in chimeric hearts delays or prevents acute rejection in a strain-dependent manner. In contrast, this type of graft modification does not prevent cardiac allograft vasculopathy. This suggests that, although the CD4+ direct pathway may play a role in acute rejection, it is not essential for the development of chronic rejection in rodent cardiac allografts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-521
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 15 2000


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