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    Ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI), an innate immunity-driven local inflammation, remains the major problem in clinical organ transplantation. T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain (TIM-3)-Galectin-9 (Gal-9) signaling regulates CD4+ Th1 immune responses. Here, we explored TIM-3-Gal-9 function in a clinically relevant murine model of hepatic cold storage and orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). C57BL/6 livers, preserved for 20 h at 4°C in UW solution, were transplanted to syngeneic mouse recipients. Up-regulation of TIM-3 on OLT-infiltrating activated CD4+ T cells was observed in the early IRI phase (1 h). By 6 h of reperfusion, OLTs in recipients treated with a blocking anti-TIM-3 Ab were characterized by: (1) enhanced hepatocellular damage (sALT levels, liver Suzuki's histological score); (2) polarized cell infiltrate towards Th1/Th17-type phenotype; (3) depressed T cell exhaustion markers (PD-1, LAG3); and (4) elevated neutrophil and macrophage infiltration/activation. In parallel studies, adoptive transfer of CD4+ T cells from naïve WT, but not from TIM-3 Tg donors, readily recreated OLT damage in otherwise IR-resistant RAG(-/-) test recipients. Furthermore, pre-treatment of mice with rGal-9 promoted hepatoprotection against preservation-association liver damage, accompanied by enhanced TIM-3 expression in OLTs. Thus, CD4+ T cell-dependent "negative" TIM-3 costimulation is essential for hepatic homeostasis and resistance against IR stress in OLTs. © Copyright 2015 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.


    Y Liu, H Ji, Y Zhang, X-D Shen, F Gao, T T Nguyen, X Shang, N Lee, R W Busuttil, J W Kupiec-Weglinski. Negative CD4 + TIM-3 signaling confers resistance against cold preservation damage in mouse liver transplantation. American journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. 2015 Apr;15(4):954-64

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    PMID: 25676534

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