Contribution of CD40-CD154-mediated costimulation to an alloresponse in vivo.
Förster E., Krenger W., Joergensen J., Hof R., Geha RS., Holländer GA.
BACKGROUND: Costimulation through CD40-CD154 plays an important role in T-cell activation. Although systemic administration of anti-CD154 antibody prevents or delays rejection of organ allografts in animal models, the molecular mechanisms responsible for this effect are not well defined. METHODS: We have previously demonstrated that priming of mice (H2d) with CD40-/- but not with wildtype naive B cells (H2b) leads to alloantigen-specific T-cell hyporesponsiveness in vitro. In the present study, we investigated whether such priming modifies allograft rejection in a major histocompatibility complex-mismatched murine cardiac transplantation model. RESULTS: Priming of hosts with donor-specific CD40-/- B cells delayed rejection of subsequently transplanted wild-type cardiac allografts by 8.0 days (P<0.001). The lack of CD40 on the cardiac graft delayed rejection in unprimed or primed hosts by 3-5 days. Prolongation of graft survival correlated with the failure of infused CD40-/- B cells to express B7.2 and ICAM-1 in vivo. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that CD40-CD154 costimulation contributes to T cell priming to alloantigens in vivo and to a second set rejection phase in which donor antigens are presented to primed T cells.