Deviation of the alloimmune response toward tolerance by chimeric class I MHC molecules

Rafik R Ghobrial, The University of Texas Grad. Sch. of Biomed. Sci. at Houston


Class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules induce either accelerated rejection or prolonged survival of allografts, presumably because of the presence of immunogenic or tolerogenic epitopes, respectively. To explore the molecular basis of this phenomenon, three chimeric class I molecules were constructed by substituting the rat class I RT1.A$\sp{\rm a}$ sequences with the N-terminus of HLA-A2.1 (N$\sp{\rm HLA-A2.1}$-RT1.A$\sp{\rm a}$), the $\alpha\sb1$ helix (h) with $\rm\alpha\sb{1h}\sp{u}$ sequences ( ($\rm\alpha\sb{1h}\sp{u}$) -RT1.A$\sp{\rm a}$) or the entire $\alpha\sb2$ domain (d) with $\rm\alpha\sb{2d}\sp{u}$ sequences ( ($\rm\alpha\sb{2d}\sp{u}$) -RT1.A$\sp{\rm a}$). Wild type (WT) and chimeric cDNAs were sequenced prior to transfection into Buffalo (BUF; RT1$\sp{\rm b}$) hepatoma cells. Stable transfectants were injected subcutaneously (s.c.) into different hosts 7 days prior to challenge with a heart allograft. In BUF hosts, chimeric ($\rm\alpha\sb{1h}\sp{u}$) -RT1.A$\sp{\rm a}$ accelerated the rejection of Wistar Furth (WF; RT1$\sp{\rm u}$) heart allografts, but had no effect on the survival of ACI (RT1$\sp{\rm a}$) grafts. In contrast, the ($\rm\alpha\sb{2d}\sp{u}$) -RT1.A$\sp{\rm a}$ (containing $\rm\alpha\sb{1d}\sp{a}$ sequences) immunized BUF recipients toward RT1$\sp{\rm a}$ grafts. In WF hosts, WT-RT1.A$\sp{\rm a}$ was a potent immunogen and accelerated ACI graft rejection, N$\sp{\rm HLA-A2.1}$-RT1.A$\sp{\rm a}$ was less effective and ($\rm\alpha\sb{\rm 1h}\sp{u}\rbrack$-RT1.A$\sp{\rm a}$ was not immunogenic. Thus, dominant and subdominant epitopes inducing in vivo sensitization to cardiac allografts are present in the $\alpha\sb1$ helix and the N-terminus, respectively. The failure of ($\rm\alpha\sb{2d}\sp{u}$) -RT1.A$\sp{\rm a}$ transfectants (containing recipient-type $\alpha\sb{\rm 2d}$ sequences) to sensitize WF hosts toward ACI (RT1$\sp{\rm a}$) grafts, despite the presence of donor-type immunogenic $\alpha\sb{\rm 1d}\sp{\rm a}$, suggests that "self-$\alpha\sb2$" sequences displayed on chimeric antigens interfere with immunogenicity. The ($\rm\alpha\sb{1h}\sp{u}$) -RT1.A$\sp{\rm a}$ transfectants injected s.c. prolonged the survival of WF (RT1$\sp{\rm u}$) hearts in ACI (RT1$\sp{\rm a}$) recipients. Furthermore, intra-portal injection of extracts from ($\rm\alpha\sb{1h}\sp{u}$) -RT1.A$\sp{\rm a}$, but not WT-RT1.A$\sp{\rm a}$ or RT1.A$\sp{\rm u}$, in conjunction with a brief cyclosporine course rendered ACI hosts permanently and specifically tolerant to donor-type WF cardiac allografts. Thus, immunodominant allodeterminants are present in the $\alpha\sb1$, but not the $\alpha\sb2$, domain of rat class I MHC molecules. Furthermore, the $\rm\alpha\sb{1h}\sp{u}$ immunogenic epitopes trigger tolerogenic responses when flanked by host-type N-terminal$\sp{\rm a}$ and $\rm\alpha\sb{2d}\sp{a}$ sequences. ^

Subject Area

Biology, Molecular|Health Sciences, Medicine and Surgery|Health Sciences, Immunology

Recommended Citation

Ghobrial, Rafik R, "Deviation of the alloimmune response toward tolerance by chimeric class I MHC molecules" (1994). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9532503.