Th1 to Th2 immune deviation facilitates, but does not cause, islet allograft tolerance in mice.
It has been reported that Th1 to Th2 immune deviation effectively promotes peripheral tolerance in situations involving a limited T cell clone size, such as T cell-dependent autoimmunity and transplantation across minor, but not major, histocompatibility barriers. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that while Th1 to Th2 immune deviation fails to induce tolerance in the MHC-mismatched islet allograft model, it may promote a state that is permissive for tolerance induction. Here, we report that anti-IL-12 did not prevent acute rejection of islet allografts when administered alone. In conjunction with CTLA4/Fc, however, anti-IL-12 greatly facilitated long-term engraftment in three MHC-mismatched strain combinations. Similarly, while non-cytolytic IL-4/Fc, a long-lasting form of IL-4, did not prevent acute graft rejection when administered alone, a low, but not a high, dose of IL-4/Fc synergized with CTLA4/Fc in inducing significant levels of islet allograft tolerance. Moreover, by using a skin allograft adoptive transfer model, we show that these effects induced by anti-IL-12 and IL-4/Fc treatment were associated with an enhancement of the suppressive properties of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells. Thus, anti-IL-12 and low-dose IL-4/Fc facilitate, but do not cause, islet allograft tolerance in mice by increasing the immunosuppressive potency of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells.
Zhang, D; Sanchez-Fueyo, A; Kawamoto, K; Alexopoulos, SP; Zhang, W; Zheng, XX
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