Impact of Leukocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 Blockade on Endogenous Allospecific T Cells to Multiple Minor Histocompatibility Antigen Mismatched Cardiac Allograft

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Blocking leukocyte function-associated antigen (LFA)-1 in organ transplant recipients prolongs allograft survival. However, the precise mechanisms underlying the therapeutic potential of LFA-1 blockade in preventing chronic rejection are not fully elucidated. Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is the preeminent cause of late cardiac allograft failure characterized histologically by concentric intimal hyperplasia.


Anti–LFA-1 monoclonal antibody was used in a multiple minor antigen-mismatched, BALB.B (H-2b) to C57BL/6 (H-2b), cardiac allograft model. Endogenous donor-specific CD8 T cells were tracked down using major histocompatibility complex multimers against the immunodominant H4, H7, H13, H28, and H60 minor Ags.


The LFA-1 blockade prevented acute rejection and preserved palpable beating quality with reduced CD8 T-cell graft infiltration. Interestingly, less CD8 T cell infiltration was secondary to reduction of T-cell expansion rather than less trafficking. The LFA-1 blockade significantly suppressed the clonal expansion of minor histocompatibility antigen–specific CD8 T cells during the expansion and contraction phase. The CAV development was evaluated with morphometric analysis at postoperation day 100. The LFA-1 blockade profoundly attenuated neointimal hyperplasia (61.6 vs 23.8%; P < 0.05), CAV-affected vessel number (55.3 vs 15.9%; P < 0.05), and myocardial fibrosis (grade 3.29 vs 1.8; P < 0.05). Finally, short-term LFA-1 blockade promoted long-term donor-specific regulation, which resulted in attenuated transplant arteriosclerosis.


Taken together, LFA-1 blockade inhibits initial endogenous alloreactive T-cell expansion and induces more regulation. Such a mechanism supports a pulse tolerance induction strategy with anti–LFA-1 rather than long-term treatment.

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