The failure of skin grafting to break tolerance to class i-disparate renal allografts in miniature swine despite inducing marked antidonor cellular immunity

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Long-term specific tolerance to one haplotype class I plus minor antigen disparate renal allografts develops without exogenous immunosuppression in approximately 35% of miniature swine (n=128). Previous studies have suggested that this phenomenon is related to limited class I-specific helper T cell activity as evidenced by the failure of antibody class switching in vivo and the ability of exogenous interleukin 2 to elicit anti-donor responses in vitro. To determine whether tolerance could be broken by inducing antidonor reactivity with donor antigen and a source of T cell help, multiple skin grafts bearing donor class I plus third-party class II antigens were placed on tolerant animals. Skin grafts were placed at least 3 months after the kidney transplant, at which time all recipients had normal renal function as measured by blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine. First-set rejection of skin grafts by SLAad and SLAdd hosts occurred in 11.8±1.1 days (mean ± SEM, n=6) and in 9.310.9 days (n=4), respectively. Coincident with skin rejection, most animals developed a transient rise in BUN to 62±11 mg/dl (n=10) and a similar rise in Cr to 4.9±1.2 mg/dl (n=10), with normal levels returning in all animals within two weeks. Subsequent skin grafts with the same disparity did not undergo second-set rejection and did not induce BUN or Cr elevations. Prior to skin grafting, animals showed no antidonor activity in mixed lymphocyte reaction or cell-mediated lymphocytotoxicity assays. After two skin grafts, all animals developed donor-specific CML and secondary MLR responses, and additional skin grafts amplified this cellular immunity. Development of marked antidonor immunity without a break in tolerance suggested that either graft adaptation or local suppression might be involved in maintaining tolerance to class I MHC antigens. In preliminary studies, an immunized SLAad animal and an immunized SLAdd animal were retransplanted with kidneys MHC matched to their first allografts. In both cases, the second graft was accepted permanently without immunosuppression, suggesting that graft adaptation is not necessary for the maintenance of tolerance to renal allografts in miniature swine. © 1991 by Williams & Wilkins.

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