Renal allografts were performed in miniature swine that were identical at their major histocompatibility locus and were presensitized by skin grafts from their prospective renal donors. All of these renal grafts were rejected in a hyperacute or markedly accelerated manner compared to the survival of comparable grafts in nonsensitized animals. Studies directed at the mechanism of this rejection revealed no circulating recipient antidonor antibodies by several serological assays. In contrast, mixed lymphocyte cultures (MLCs) and cell-mediated lympholysis (CML) assays demonstrated marked recipient antidonor lymphocyte reactivity that appeared after skin grafts, diminished during the tenure of the renal graft in the host circulation, and reappeared after removal of the rejected kidney. These results suggest that cellular immune mechanisms may plan a role in the accelerated rejection of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-identical renal allografts.
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