Blocking Indoleamine Dioxygenase Activity Early After Rat Liver Transplantation Prevents Long-Term Survival But Does Not Cause Acute Rejection

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In a well-characterized rat model of liver transplantation, Piebald Virol Glaxo strain livers are accepted long term in fully mismatched Dark Agouti recipients (tolerance; TOL), but rejected in Lewis recipients (rejection; REJ). Spontaneous tolerance induction is associated with increased interferon-γ expression, and we examined the role of the interferon-γ-inducible immunomodulatory enzyme indoleamine dioxygenase (IDO) in this model. On day 3 after transplantation, IDO expression in the spleen of TOL recipients was significantly greater than in REJ. The B-cell population accounted for this early IDO increase. Intragraft expression of IDO increased to the same extent in both TOL and REJ. IDO inhibition for 7 days after transplantation reduced survival, but did not cause acute rejection of the liver in the TOL model. In conclusion, the differential IDO expression by B lymphocytes in the spleen of TOL recipients is not critical for preventing acute rejection.

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