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Sertoli Cells Induce Systemic Donor-Specific Tolerance in Xenogenic Transplantation Model

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Cell therapy is a potentially powerful tool in the treatment of many grave disorders including leukemia, immune deficiencies, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes. However, finding matched donors is challenging and recipients may suffer from the severe complications of systemic immune suppression. Sertoli cells, when cotransplanted with both allo- and xenograft tissues, promote graft acceptance in the absence of systemic immunosuppression. How Sertoli cells do this is not, as yet, clearly defined. We have examined the ability of Sertoli cells to produce systemic immune tolerance. For this purpose, Sertoli cells were injected into an otherwise normal C57/BL6 mouse host via the lateral tail vein. No other immunosuppressive protocols were applied. Six to 8 weeks posttransplantation, blood was collected for analysis of cytokine levels. Tolerance to donor cells was determined by mixed lymphocytic culture, and production of T-cell-dependent antibody was determined by an in vitro anti-sheep red blood cell plaque-forming assay. Results showed a marked modulation of immune cytokines in the transplanted mouse host and donor-specific transplantation tolerance was achieved. Tolerant mouse lymphocytes maintained a competent humoral antibody response. Additionally, C57/BL6 mice transplanted with rat Sertoli cells tolerated rat skin grafts significantly longer than control non-Sertoli cell transplanted mice. We conclude that systemic administration of rat Sertoli cells across xenogenic barrier induces transplantation tolerance without altering systemic immune competence. These data suggest that Sertoli cells may be used as a novel and potentially powerful tool in cell transplantation therapy.
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Keywords: Sertoli cells; Systemic tolerance; Xenogenic transplantation model

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Anatomy, University of South Florida, College of Medicine,Tampa, FL 33612, USA 2: All Children Hospital, University of South Florida, College of Medicine,Tampa, FL 33612, USA 3: Department of Neurosurgery, University of South Florida, College of Medicine,Tampa, FL 33612, USA, Center for Aging and Brain Repair, University of South Florida, College of Medicine,Tampa, FL 33612, USA 4: Department of Anatomy, University of South Florida, College of Medicine,Tampa, FL 33612, USA, Department of Neurosurgery, University of South Florida, College of Medicine,Tampa, FL 33612, USA

Publication date: 2006-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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