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Open Access B7-H4 Induces Donor-Specific Tolerance in Mouse Islet Allografts

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Negative cosignaling molecules play an important role in regulating T-cell responses to alloantigen stimulation. We recently reported that adenoviral-mediated transduction of islet allografts with B7-H4 inhibits allograft rejection. In this study, we investigate the mechanism for B7-H4-induced prolongation of mouse islet allograft survival. Streptozotocin-induced diabetic C57BL/6 mice were rendered normoglycemic by renal subcapsular implants of B7-H4-transduced BALB/c islets. Grafts and spleens were removed after days 2, 10, and 60 (n = 8 each) for characterization of kinetics of Foxp3 and interleukin 10 (IL-10) expression. Mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) was done at day 60. Ten mice were subjected to nephrectomy at 60 days and then five were implanted with secondary BALB/c islets and five were given third-party CBA/J islets. An increase in Foxp3 and IL-10 mRNA expression was detected in recipients' spleens at day 60 and this was associated with increased quantities of Foxp3+ cells. Splenocytes at day 60 showed hyporesponsiveness during MLR to alloantigen stimulation. Proliferation was partially restored after CD25+ T-cell depletion. Secondary BALB/c islets survived for 79 ± 29 days compared with 21 ± 3.6 days for CBA/J islets (p < 0.001). Local expression of B7-H4 induces long-term unresponsiveness to donor-specific alloantigens, and is associated with T regulatory cells, suggesting the development of tolerance.

Keywords: B7-H4; Islet allograft tolerance; Regulatory T cells; Secondary transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • 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.

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