The ability of anti-T cell monoclonal antibody G4.18 and polyclonal anti-lymphocyte serum (ALS) to induce long-term graft survival was examined in a high-responder rat heart transplant model. Heterotopic heart allografts were performed from PVG rat strain donors to high-responder Lewis recipients. Immunosuppressive properties of G4.18 and ALS were investigated by immunohistochemistry and PCR analysis. Untreated graft rejection was 8.5 days while treatment with 1 ml ALS prolonged survival to 11.5 days (p = 0.01). Treatment with 7 mg/kg G4.18 on days 1 and 3 prolonged survival to > 100 days (p = 0.002 vs. control and p = 0.002 vs. ALS) but did not induce tolerance. Acceptance was associated with marked inhibition of cellular infiltration and inflammatory cytokine expression and only a brief, slight increase in Foxp3:T cell ratio in the graft and no increase in the spleen. In conclusion, G4.18 treatment led to long-term heart transplant survival associated with marked inhibition of early inflammation. Failure to develop tolerance was associated with a lack of early accumulation of Foxp3 cells in the graft or spleen.
- Heart transplantation
- Transplantation tolerance