Blocking the CD28/B7 and/or CD154/CD40 costimulatory pathways promotes long-term allograft survival in many transplant models where CD4+ T cells are necessary for rejection. When CD8+ T cells are sufficient to mediate rejection, these approaches fail, resulting in costimulation blockade-resistant rejection. To address this problem we examined the role of lymphotoxin-related molecules in CD8+ T cell-mediated rejection of murine intestinal allografts. Targeting membrane lymphotoxin by means of a fusion protein, mAb, or genetic mutation inhibited rejection of intestinal allografts by CD8+ T cells. This effect was associated with decreased monokine induced by IFN-γ (Mig) and secondary lymphoid chemokine (SLC) gene expression within allografts and spleens respectively. Blocking membrane lymphotoxin did not inhibit rejection mediated by CD4+ T cells. Combining disruption of membrane lymphotoxin and treatment with CTLA4-Ig inhibited rejection in wild-type mice. These data demonstrate that membrane lymphotoxin is an important regulatory molecule for CD8+ T cells mediating rejection and suggest a strategy to avoid costimulation blockade-resistant rejection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy