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BACKGROUND: An adoptive transfer system was used to study the fate of alloreactive CD8+ H-2Kb-specific TCR transgenic (DES+) T cells in vivo after transplantation. METHODS: A trace population of 2.0x10(6) CD8+DES+ T cells were adoptively transferred into syngeneic CBA.Ca (H-2k) mice 24 hr before transplantation of an H-2Kb+ or H-2Kb- cardiac allograft. RESULTS: H-2Kb specific T cells proliferated and produced interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma in response to H-2Kb+, but not H-2Kb- cardiac allografts. CD8+DES+ T cells that infiltrated the H-2Kb+ cardiac allografts developed a distinct cell surface and cytokine phenotype compared with the CD8+DES+ T cells that remained in the periphery. H-2Kb-specific graft infiltrating T cells (a) underwent a larger number of cell divisions (> =3), (b) increased in size, (c) up-regulated CD69, and (d) down-regulated CD62L. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that alloantigen-specific T cells can be monitored in vivo during the immune response to an allograft and that the fate of CD8+ T cells specific for the allogeneic class I molecules expressed by the graft is different between cells in the periphery and those that infiltrate the graft.


Journal article



Publication Date





639 - 648


Adoptive Transfer, Animals, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cell Division, Cytokines, Epitopes, Flow Cytometry, Graft Rejection, Graft Survival, Heart Transplantation, Histocompatibility Antigens Class I, Interferon-gamma, Ionomycin, Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Inbred CBA, Mice, Transgenic, Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate, Tissue Donors, Transplantation, Homologous