'Chimeric' grafts assembled from multiple allodisparate donors enjoy enhanced transplant survival.
Certain components of a graft that provoke alloimmunity may not be vital for graft function or critical as targets of rejection. Corneal transplantation is an example of this, because graft epithelium plays a role in allosensitization, whereas corneal graft endothelium-which shares the same alloantigens-is the critical target in allorejection. In this study, we found that exploiting this biology by replacing donor epithelium of an allograft with an allodisparate third-party epithelium yields a marked enhancement in transplant survival. Such 'chimeric' allografts consisted of a C3H/He (H-2(k)) corneal epithelium over a C57BL/6 (H-2(b)) epithelial-denuded cornea (or v.v.) and orthotopically placed on BALB/c (H-2(d)) hosts. Conventional corneal allografts (C3H/He or C57BL/6) or isografts (BALB/c) were also transplanted on BALB/c hosts. Alloreactive T-cell frequencies (CD4(+) interferon [IFN]-gamma(+)) primed to the graft endothelium were strongly diminished in chimeric hosts relative to conventionally allografted hosts. This was corroborated by a decreased T-cell infiltration (p = 0.03) and a marked enhancement of allograft survival (p = 0.001). Our results represent the first successful demonstration of chimeric tissue, epithelial-denuded allograft plus third-party allodisparate epithelium, in the promotion of allograft survival. Moreover, chimeric grafting can be readily performed clinically, whereby corneal allograft rejection remains a significant problem particularly in inflamed graft beds.
Saban, DR; Chauhan, SK; Zhang, X; El Annan, J; Jin, Y; Dana, R
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