The indirect alloresponse impairs the induction but not maintenance of tolerance to MHC class I-disparate allografts

M. J. Weiss, D. A. Guenther, J. D. Mezrich, H. Sahara, C. Y. Ng, A. J. Meltzer, J. K. Sayre, M. E. Cochrane, A. C. Pujara, S. L. Houser, D. H. Sachs, B. R. Rosengard, J. S. Allan, G. Benichou, J. C. Madsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied the effects of indirect allorecognition on the induction and maintenance phases of tolerance in miniature swine cotransplanted with heart and kidney allografts. MHC class I-mismatched heart and kidney grafts were cotransplanted in recipients receiving CyA for 12 days. Recipients were unimmunized or immunized with a set of donor-derived or control third-party MHC class I peptides either 21 days prior to transplantation or over 100 days after transplantation. T-cell proliferation, delayed type hypersensitivity reaction (DTH) and antibody production were assessed. All animals injected with donor MHC class I peptides developed potent indirect alloresponses specific to the immunizing peptides. While untreated recipients developed stable tolerance, all animals preimmunized with donor allopeptides rejected kidney-heart transplants acutely. In contrast, when peptide immunization was delayed until over 100 days after kidney-heart transplantation, no effects were observed on graft function or in vitro measures of alloimmunity. Donor peptide immunization prevented tolerance when administered to recipients pre transplantation but did not abrogate tolerance when administered to long-term survivors post transplantation. This suggests that the presence of T cells activated via indirect allorecognition represent a barrier to the induction but not the maintenance of tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart transplantation
  • Indirect allorecognition
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Rejection
  • Tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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