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Invariant natural killer T cells infiltrate intestinal allografts undergoing acute cellular rejection

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Abstract:

Summary

Immunological responses in human intestinal allografts are poorly understood and accurate diagnosis of acute cellular rejection remains difficult. Here, human intestinal allografts were analyzed by multi‐color quantitative fluorescent immunohistochemical morphometry in order to monitor the clinical course of rejection. Morphometry gave two‐dimensional plots based on size and circularity, and identified phenotypes of individual cells infiltrating the allograft by fluorescent staining. Using this method, invariant TCRVα24+ NKT (iNKT) cells were observed in the intestinal allograft during rejection. Because these were not identified in the normal donor intestine before surgery, this finding was considered to be a signature of acute cellular rejection of the intestinal allograft. Infiltrating iNKT cells released IL‐4 and IL‐5, Th2‐related cytokines that antagonize the Th1 responses that induce acute cellular rejection. Histological observation suggested eosinophilic enteritis in the mucosa with elevation of IL‐4 and IL‐5. In conclusion, iNKT cells were recruited to the intestine; however, because higher levels of IL‐4 and IL‐5 may contribute to eosinophilic enteritis, timely steroid administration is recommended for allograft injury due to enteritis, as well as acute cellular rejection.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1432-2277.2012.01450.x

Affiliations: 1:  Department of Transplantation and Immunology, Kyoto University Hospital, Kyoto, Japan 2:  Department of Forensic Medicine and Molecular Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University Hospital, Kyoto, Japan 3:  Department of Surgery, St. Luke’s International Hospital, Tokyo, Japan 4:  Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University Hospital, Kyoto, Japan

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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