Tolerance of allografts across MHC barriers by allochimeric class I MHC proteins

Johnny Perez, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Class I MHC proteins have been shown to induce accelerated rejection or prolong survival of allografts in various experimental models. These immunological effects have been attributed to the highly polymorphic alpha helical regions of the extracellular portions of the class I MHC molecule. The present experiments were designed to elucidate the immunomodulatory effects of these polymorphic regions and delineate the mechanisms involved. Soluble allochimeric class I MHC proteins were produced by substituting the PVG class I MHC RT1.Ac amino acid residues within the [special characters omitted]1 helical region with those of the donor BN ([special characters omitted]1hn-RT1.Ac), the [special characters omitted]2 helical region of BN ([special characters omitted]2hn-RT1.Ac), and both the [special characters omitted]1 and [special characters omitted]2 helical regions (RT1.An). The class I MHC proteins were produced in an E. coli protein expression system. The [special characters omitted]2hn-RT1.Ac and RT1.An proteins, when administered subcutaneously into PVG hosts 7 days prior to transplantation, resulted in accelerated rejection of BN cardiac allografts. The [special characters omitted]1hn-RT1.Ac construct did not demonstrate such immunogenic effects. Intra-portal administration of [special characters omitted]1hn-RT1.Ac or RT1.An, in combination with perioperative CsA, induced tolerance to BN cardiac allografts. The [special characters omitted]1hn-RT1.Ac protein was able to induce tolerance in a larger majority of the PVG recipients and at a lower dose of protein when compared to the RT1.An protein. RT1.An administered orally to PVG recipients also induced long term survival of cardiac allografts. In vitro analysis revealed that lymphocytes from tolerant hosts were hyporesponsive to donor splenocytes, but responsive to 3rd party splenocytes. Evaluation of T cell cytokine expression patterns revealed that rejector PVG hosts displayed a Type I T-cell response when re-challenged with donor splenocytes, in contrast to tolerant animals that displayed a Type II T-cell response. FACS analysis of the T cells revealed that the ratio of CD4 to CD8 cells was 3:1 and was consistent in the groups tested suggesting a complex interaction between the subsets of T cells, yielding the observed results. Histologic analysis of the cardiac allografts revealed that tolerant PVG hosts maintained BN cardiac allografts without any evidence of acute or chronic rejection after 300 days post transplant. This body of work has demonstrated that the use of soluble donor/recipient allochimeric class I MHC proteins with a short peri-operative course of CsA resulted in transplant tolerance. This treatment regimen proffers a clinically relevant approach to the induction of tolerance across MHC barriers.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Perez, Johnny, "Tolerance of allografts across MHC barriers by allochimeric class I MHC proteins" (1999). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9951900.