Dendritic cells genetically engineered to express Fas ligand induce donor-specific hyporesponsiveness and prolong allograft survival.

Department of Surgery and Multiorgan Transplant Program, Toronto Hospital Research Institute, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.36). 02/2000; 164(1):161-7. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.164.1.161
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Polarization of an immune response toward tolerance or immunity is dictated by the interactions between T cells and dendritic cells (DC), which in turn are modulated by the expression of distinct cell surface molecules, and the cytokine milieu in which these interactions are taking place. Genetic modification of DC with genes coding for specific immunoregulatory cell surface molecules and cytokines offers the potential of inhibiting immune responses by selectively targeting Ag-specific T cells. In this study, the immunomodulatory effects of transfecting murine bone marrow-derived DC with Fas ligand (FasL) were investigated. In this study, we show that FasL transfection of DC markedly augmented their capacity to induce apoptosis of Fas+ cells. FasL-transfected DC inhibited allogeneic MLR in vitro, and induced hyporesponsiveness to alloantigen in vivo. The induction of hyporesponsiveness was Ag specific and was dependent on the interaction between FasL on DC and Fas on T cells. Finally, we show that transfusion of FasL-DC significantly prolonged the survival of fully MHC-mismatched vascularized cardiac allografts. Our findings suggest that DC transduced with FasL may facilitate the development of Ag-specific unresponsiveness for the prevention of organ rejection. Moreover, they highlight the potential of genetically engineering DC to express other genes that affect immune responses.

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