T cell repertoire alterations of vascularized xenografts

Sophie Brouard, Bernard Vanhove, Katia Gagne, Avidan Neumann, Patrice Douillard, Anne Moreau, Cristina Cuturi, Jean Paul Soulillou

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    33 Scopus citations


    The role of T cells in the rejection of vascularized xenografts has been little explored. Because of the high potential diversity of xenoantigens, it has been suggested that xenotransplantation could induce a strong cellular response that could contribute to delayed rejection. Alternatively, alterations in molecular interactions could impair the T cell response. Because the analysis of TCR repertoire in vivo indirectly reflects the nature and the magnitude of T cell xenorecognition, we took advantage of the possibility of obtaining long term survival of hamster heart xenografts in rat recipients treated with a combination of cobra venom factor and cyclosporin A (CsA), to analyze T cell infiltration and, for the first time, Vβ TCR usage, at the complementarity-determining region 3 level, in accommodated and rejected xenografts, compared with allografts. After withdrawal of CsA (on day 40), the analysis of Vβ family expression and corresponding complementarity-determining region 3 lengths in rejected xenografts revealed a Gaussian pattern, in contrast to a much more restricted pattern in rejected allografts (p = 0.002), suggesting that, after withdrawal of CsA, all the underrepresented T cell clones are rapidly expanded in xenografts. These results correlate with the rapid kinetics of rejection (4 ± 1 days), the high number of T cells, the rapid expression of markers of activation (IL-2 receptor α-chain and class II receptor), and the strong deposit of IgG Abs in rejected xenografts. Taken together, these results suggest that the intensity and diversity of the T cell response to xenografts could be stronger than the response to allografts in vivo.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3367-3377
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Immunology
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - 15 Mar 1999


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