T cell activation in response to allogeneic stimulation and hapten-specific delayed-contact hypersensitivity responses in vivo can be initiated by Ia-bearing epidermal Langerhans cells (LC). By using a murine heterotopic corneal allograft model, we have investigated the requirement for allogeneic LC as antigen-presenting cells (APC) in the in vivo induction of delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) and cytolytic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses to alloantigens in fully allogeneic and H-2 I region-disparate strain combinations. LC-deficient, avascular central corneal allografts from BALB/c donors failed to induce DTH responsiveness when grafted to a subdermal bed on C57BL/6 recipients (p > 0.05), yet antigen-specific primary CTL reactivity developed within 7 days after grafting. LC-containing corneal-limbus allografts or central corneal allografts containing a latex bead-induced infiltrate of LC resulted in intense DTH as well as CTL responsiveness when grafted in this same strain combination. Similarly, LC-containing but not LC-deficient corneal allografts from A.TL donors induced DTH responsiveness in I region-disparate A.TH hosts despite the fact that these grafts survived for prolonged duration (> 28 days). By contrast, CTL induction in I region-disparate hosts was independent of the presence of allogeneic LC. Corneal epithelial cells of grafts removed from I region-disparate hosts 7 days posttransplantation were shown by immunohistology to express the Ia(k) antigens of donor origin. The possibility that bone marrow-derived allogeneic LC were a sufficient requirement for DTH induction was confirmed in experiments performed with CB6(F1) → B6 bone marrow chimeras used as corneal allograft donors. Corneal-limbus grafts obtained from mice 90 days after chimerization were shown by immunohistology to contain Ia(d)-bearing CB6(F1) LC as a sole source of class II alloantigens. When grafted to C57BL/6 recipients, LC-containing chimeric corneas induced DTH responsiveness that was similar in magnitude to that observed in C57BL/6 mice grafted with chimeric skin, yet no DTH response to LC-deficient chimeric central corneal grafts was observed. Moreover, in all cases, the chimeric corneal and skin allografts survived for prolonged duration (> 28 days). These results demonstrate that donor-derived LC act as APC in the induction of DTH responsiveness to allogeneic tissue; however, there was no apparent requirement for allogeneic LC in the induction of CTL responses to class I or class II MHC alloantigens. A role for induced class II expression and APC function of other cell types within the cornea (epithelial cells or stromal keratocytes) or alloantigen reprocessing and presentation by host APC is implied for CTL activation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1986|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy