Background. Anti-CD3 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are potent immunosuppressives in transplantation but most do not induce tolerance. They induce anergy in Th1 cells but, if they bind to Fc receptors on antigen presenting cells, they activate T cells to release cytokines. Methods. This study examined the mechanisms of transplant tolerance induction to PVG fully allogeneic grafts in dark agouti rats by G4.18, a mouse immunoglobulinG3 anti-rat CD3 mAb that does not bind rat Fe receptors. Evidence of T cell activation was assayed by flow cytometry, reverse transcription (RT)- polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for cytokine mRNA, and responsiveness in mixed lymphocyte culture. Results. G4.18 treatment modulated T cell receptor/CD3 and CD2 and depleted T cells by <20% but did not induce activation surface markers. mRNA for interleukin (IL)-2, interferon (IFN)- γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and IL-4 in the lymph node, spleen, and thymus was not increased, and IFN-γ mRNA was reduced. G4.18-treated and naive rat cells had similar proliferation and expression of IL-2, IFN-γ, and IL-4 in vitro. G4.18-treated allograft recipients had no induction of mRNA for IL-2, IFN-γ, TNF-α, TNF-β, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, perforin, and granzyme A and B in the spleen or grafts, with levels similar to those in isografts. The IL-4 and IL-5 mRNA levels in the spleen but not the graft of G4.18-treated recipients were higher than in rejecting and naive animals. Cells from G4.18- treated graft recipients proliferated more rapidly to the donor than to the third party and had increased IL-4 expression. Conclusions. G4.18 induced transplant tolerance by a combination of modulation and blocking of the TCR/CD3, associated with increased Th2 cytokines, without depletion, induction of anergy, or nonspecific activation of T cells.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Feb 1999|