Blockade of CD27/CD70 pathway to reduce the generation of memory T cells and markedly prolong the survival of heart allografts in presensitized mice
Alloreactive memory T cells are a major obstacle to transplantation acceptance due to their capacity for accelerated rejection. C57BL/6 mice that had rejected BALB/c skin grafts 4 weeks earlier were used as recipients. The recipient mice were treated with anti-CD154/LFA-1 with or without anti-CD70 during the primary skin transplantation and anti-CD154/LFA-1 or not during the secondary transplantation of BALB/c heart. We evaluated the impact of combinations of antibody-mediated blockade on the generation of memory T cells and graft survival after fully MHC-mismatched transplantations. One month after the primary skin transplantation, the proportions of CD4(+) memory T cells/CD4(+) T cells and CD8(+)memory T cells/CD8(+) T cells in the anti-CD154/LFA-1 combination group were 47.32±4.28% and 23.18±2.77%, respectively. In the group that included anti-CD70 treatment, the proportions were reduced to 34.10±2.71% and 12.19±3.52% (P<0.05 when comparing the proportion of memory T cells between the two groups). The addition of anti-CD70 to the treatment regimen prolonged the mean survival time following secondary heart transplantation from 10days to more than 90days (P<0.001). Furthermore, allogenic proliferation of recipient splenic T cells and graft-infiltrating lymphocytes were significantly decreased. Meanwhile, the proportion of regulatory T cells was increased to 9.46±1.48% on day 100 post-transplantation (P<0.05). The addition of anti-CD70 to the anti-CD154/LFA-1 combination given during the primary transplantation reduced the generation of memory T cells. This therapy regimen provided a potential means to alleviate the accelerated rejection mediated by memory T cells during secondary heart transplantation and markedly prolong the survival of heart allografts.