Activation of alloreactive CD8+ T cells operates via CD4-dependent and CD4-independent mechanisms and is CD154 blockade sensitive.


Journal Article

CD154, one of the most extensively studied T cell costimulation molecules, represents a promising therapeutic target in organ transplantation. However, the immunological mechanisms of CD154 blockade that result in allograft protection, particularly in the context of alloreactive CD4/CD8 T cell activation, remain to be elucidated. We now report on the profound inhibition of alloreactive CD8(+) T cells by CD154 blockade via both CD4-dependent and CD4-independent activation pathways. Using CD154 KO recipients that are defective in alloreactive CD8(+) T cell activation and unable to reject cardiac allografts, we were able to restore CD8 activation and graft rejection by adoptively transferring CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells from wild-type syngeneic donor mice. CD4-independent activation of alloreactive CD8(+) T cells was confirmed following treatment of wild-type recipients with CD4-depleting mAb, and by using CD4 KO mice. Comparable levels of alloreactive CD8(+) T cell activation was induced by allogenic skin engraftment in both animal groups. CD154 blockade inhibited CD4-independent alloreactive CD8(+) T cell activation. Furthermore, we analyzed whether disruption of CD154 signaling affects cardiac allograft survival in skin-sensitized CD4 KO and CD8 KO recipients. A better survival rate was observed consistently in CD4 KO, as compared with CD8 KO recipients. Our results document CD4-dependent and CD4-independent activation pathways for alloreactive CD8(+) T cells that are both sensitive to CD154 blockade. Indeed, CD154 blockade was effective in preventing CD8(+) T cell-mediated cardiac allograft rejection.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Zhai, Y; Meng, L; Busuttil, RW; Sayegh, MH; Kupiec-Weglinski, JW

Published Date

  • March 15, 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 170 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 3024 - 3028

PubMed ID

  • 12626556

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12626556

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1767

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4049/jimmunol.170.6.3024


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States