Islet allografts are subject to rapid rejection through host cellular immune responses involving mononuclear cell recruitment and tissue injury. Interruption of leukocyte recruitment through chemokine receptor targeting is of therapeutic benefit in various experimental models, but little is known about the contribution of chemokine pathways to islet allograft rejection. We found that murine islets produce monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1; CCL2) in vitro and that islet allograft rejection was associated with intragraft expression of MCP-1 and its receptor, CCR2. We therefore investigated whether MCP-1 and CCR2 are required for the rejection of fully MHC-disparate islet allografts. Wild-type mice treated with blocking anti-MCP-1 mAb plus a brief, subtherapeutic course of rapamycin had long-term islet allograft survival, in contrast to the effect of treatment with either mAb or rapamycin alone. CCR2-/- mice treated with rapamycin also maintained islet allografts long-term. Both MCP/CCR2- and rapamycin-sensitive signals were required for maximal proliferation of alloreactive T cells, suggesting that MCP-1/CCR2 induce rejection by promoting alloreactive T cell clonal expansion and homing and migration. Prolonged islet allograft survival achieved by blockade of the MCP-1/CCR2 pathway plus rapamycin therapy was accompanied by a mononuclear cell infiltrate expressing the inhibitory receptor, programmed death-1 (PD-1), and its ligand (PD-L1, B7-H1), and prolongation of islet allograft survival was abrogated by anti-PD-L1 mAb therapy. These data show that the blockade of MCP-1 binding to CCR2 in conjunction with subtherapeutic immunosuppression can have profund effects on islet allograft survival and implicate the expression of the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway in the regulation of physiologic responses in vivo.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Dec 15 2003|
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