Double-negative T cells, activated by xenoantigen, lyse autologous B and T cells using a perforin/granzyme-dependent, Fas-Fas ligand-independent pathway
ABSTRACT The ability to control the response of B cells is of particular interest in xenotransplantation as Ab-mediated hyperacute and acute xenograft rejection are major obstacles in achieving long-term graft survival. Regulatory T cells have been proven to play a very important role in the regulation of immune responses to self or non-self Ags. Previous studies have shown that TCRalphabeta+CD3+CD4-CD8- (double-negative (DN)) T cells possess an immune regulatory function, capable of controlling antidonor T cell responses in allo- and xenotransplantation through Fas-Fas ligand interaction. In this study, we investigated the possibility that xenoreactive DNT cells suppress B cells. We found that DNT cells generated from wild-type C57BL/6 mice expressed B220 and CD25 after rat Ag stimulation. These xenoreactive B220+CD25+ DNT cells lysed activated, but not naive, B and T cells. This killing, which took place through cell-cell contact, required participation of adhesion molecules. Our results indicate that Fas ligand, TGF-beta, TNF-alpha, and TCR-MHC recognition was not involved in DNT cell-mediated syngenic cell killing, but instead this killing was mediated by perforin and granzymes. The xenoreactive DNT cells expressed high levels of granzymes in comparison to allo- or xenoreactive CD8+ T cells. Adoptive transfer of DNT cells in combination with early immune suppression by immunosuppressive analog of 15-deoxyspergualin, LF15-0195, significantly prolonged rat heart graft survival to 62.1 +/- 13.9 days in mice recipients. In conclusion, this study suggests that xenoreactive DNT cells can control B and T cell responses in perforin/granzyme-dependent mechanisms. DNT cells may be valuable in controlling B and T cell responses in xenotransplantation.