ABSTRACT: We show in this study that long-term tolerance to allogeneic skin grafts can be established in the absence of immunosuppression by the combination of the following elements: 1) augmenting the frequency of regulatory CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells (Treg) and 2) presentation of the allogeneic stimuli through linked recognition of allo- and self-epitopes on semiallogeneic F(1) APCs. BALB/c spleen cells enriched for CD4(+)CD25(+) T lymphocytes were transferred either to BALB/c nu/nu mice or to BALB/c nu/nu previously injected with F(1)(BALB/c x B6.Ba) spleen cells, or else grafted with F(1)(BALB/c x B6.Ba) skin (chimeric BALB/c nu/nu-F(1)). Chimeric BALB/c nu/nu-F(1) reconstituted with syngeneic CD25(+)-enriched spleen cells were unable to reject the previously transferred F(1)(BALB/c x B6.Ba) spleen cells or F(1)(BALB/c x B6.Ba) skin grafts, and a specific tolerance to a secondary B6 graft was obtained, with rejection of third-party CBA grafts. BALB/c nu/nu mice reconstituted only with syngeneic CD25(+)-enriched spleen cells rejected both B6 and CBA skin grafts. In contrast, when chimeric BALB/c nu/nu-F(1) were reconstituted with spleen populations comprising normal frequencies of Treg cells, the linked recognition of allo and self resulted in breaking of self tolerance and rejection of syngeneic grafts, strongly suggesting that linked recognition works in both directions, either to establish tolerance to allo, or to break tolerance to self, the critical parameter being the relative number of Treg cells.
The Journal of Immunology 03/2006; 176(4):2324-9. · 5.79 Impact Factor