Background. It has been suggested that the sensitization of recipient T lymphocytes against peptides derived from allogeneic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens in the context of self-MHC molecules may contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic allograft rejection. The purpose of this study was to quantitate and characterize the indirect alloresponse in renal transplantation. Methods. An HLA-A2-negative patient whose A2-positive kidney transplant failed as a result of chronic rejection was selected for this study. T-cell clones were raised using a cocktail of peptides corresponding to polymorphic regions of the A2 sequence and studied by measuring their proliferation using [3H]thymidine incorporation. The presence in vivo of HLA-A2-specific T cells was assessed using limiting dilution analysis. Results. T-cell clones were specific for a single peptide of HLA-A2, residues 92-120, and restricted by HLA-DRB1*1502. The frequency of interleukin-2- secreting T cells specific for this A2 peptide was 1:86,000, only 2-fold lower than that measured against the recall antigen tetanus toxoid. Capitalizing on the similarity of the donor and recipient DR15 alleles (DRB1*1501 and 1502), the question was addressed as to how these T cells had been primed in vivo. Although the large majority of clones responded to A2 synthetic peptide presented by both DR15 alleles, only 3 of 10 clones responded to cells co-expressing DRB1*1501 and A2. Conclusion. These data suggest that antigen presentation by recipient APCs is responsible for maintaining T cells with indirect allospecificity in vivo and that, in the context of partial DR matching, indirect presentation by the parenchymal cells of the graft may serve to induce tolerance in T cells with indirect allospecificity.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 15 1998|
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