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The establishment of immune tolerance and prevention of chronic rejection remain major goals in clinical transplantation. In bone marrow (BM) transplantation, T cells and NK cells play important roles for graft rejection. In addition, graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) remains a major obstacle for BM transplantation. In this study, we aimed to establish mixed chimerism in an irradiation-free condition. Our data indicate that adoptive transfer of donor-derived T-cell receptor (TCR) αβ(+) CD3(+) CD4(-) CD8(-) NK1.1(-) (double negative, DN) Treg cells prior to C57BL/6 to BALB/c BM transplantation, in combination with cyclophosphamide, induced a stable-mixed chimerism and acceptance of C57BL/6 skin allografts but rejection of third-party C3H (H-2k) skin grafts. Adoptive transfer of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, but not DN Treg cells, induced GVHD in this regimen. The recipient T-cell alloreactive responsiveness was reduced in the DN Treg cell-treated group and clonal deletions of TCRVβ2, 7, 8.1/2, and 8.3 were observed in both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. Furthermore, DN Treg-cell treatment suppressed NK cell-mediated BM rejection in a perforin-dependent manner. Taken together, our results suggest that adoptive transfer of DN Treg cells can control both adoptive and innate immunities and promote stable-mixed chimerism and donor-specific tolerance in the irradiation-free regimen. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Ye Su, Xuyan Huang, Shuang Wang, Wei-Ping Min, Ziqin Yin, Anthony M Jevnikar, Zhu-Xu Zhang. Double negative Treg cells promote nonmyeloablative bone marrow chimerism by inducing T-cell clonal deletion and suppressing NK cell function. European journal of immunology. 2012 May;42(5):1216-25

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PMID: 22539294

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