CD4 mAb therapy modulates alloantibody production and intracardiac graft deposition in association with selective inhibition of Th1 lymphokines

Jerzy W. Kupiec-Weglinski, Barbara Wasowska, Ildiko Papp, Georg Schmidbauer, Mohamed H. Sayegh, William M. Baldwin, Kenneth J. Wieder, Wayne W. Hancock

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83 Scopus citations


The accelerated (24 h) rejection of (LEWxBN)F1 cardiac allografts (Tx) in LEW rats sensitized with BN skin grafts, is abrogated with CD4 mAb (BWH-4) administration between skin (day -7) and heart (day 0) transplantation (Tx survival ca. 11 days, p <0.0001). This study analyzed the effects of CD4-targeted therapy upon host IgG and IgM alloantibody (allo-Ab) within the serum by two-color flow cytometry, and within the Tx, by immunohistology. These data were correlated with mRNA and protein production profiles of Th1 (IL-2, IFN-γ) vs Th2 (IL-4) specific cytokines (polymerase chain reaction and/or immunohistology). Skin grafts elicited a strong systemic IgM allo-Ab response, which peaked at the time of cardiac Tx rejection at 24 h. It was associated with extensive deposits of IgM on Tx endothelium. Treatment with BWH-4 mAb diminished circulating IgM allo-Ab levels, and only low levels of IgM could be detected at the Tx site. Conversely, the low circulating IgC allo-Ab levels during rejection at 24 h in untreated recipients were accompanied by a strong labeling for intra-Tx IgC. BWH-4 mAb therapy did not prevent totally the switch of the IgM to IgG, but the IgG allo-Ab response was earlier, less intense and more transient than in untreated recipients. Accelerated rejection triggered sequential lymphokine mRNA expression in cardiac Tx, with the peak of transcription for IL-2 (6-12 h) preceding that for IL-4 (24 h). Interestingly, although CD4 targeted therapy virtually ablated the induction of IL-2 mRNA, it preserved transcription of the IL-4 gene. BWH-4 mAb therapy decreased otherwise abundant intra-Tx IL-2 and IFN-γ, but allowed a vigorous elaboration of IL-4, confirming the translation of mRNA to the protein in vivo. Thus, CD4 mAb-mediated abrogation of accelerated cardiac Tx injury correlates with suppression of Th1 responses (depressed IL-2 and IFN-γ production), but sparing of the Th2 function (enhanced IL-4 elaboration). Indeed, CD4 mAb-induced allo-Ab depression and immunosuppressive effects may reflect selective targeting of proinflammatory Th1-like cells and the multifaceted effects of IL-4 produced by unopposed Th2-like cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5053-5061
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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