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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Human T lymphocyte proliferative response to resting porcine endothelial cells results from an HLA-restricted, IL-10-sensitive, indirect presentation pathway but also depends on endothelial-specific costimulatory factors.

To investigate the mechanisms of cellular rejection in pig-to-human xenotransplantation, the proliferation of different human purified lymphocyte subpopulations in response to swine leukocyte Ag class II-negative porcine aortic endothelial cells (PAEC) was measured in the presence or absence of human autologous adherent cells (huAPC). CD8+ lymphocytes proliferated moderately in the absence of huAPC, and the immune response was slightly increased when huAPC were added. CD56+ lymphocytes failed to proliferate in response to PAEC whether huAPC were present or not. CD4+ lymphocytes alone did not proliferate in response to PAEC, but a strong proliferative response was observed in the presence of metabolically active huAPC. This response was totally abolished by mAbs directed against HLA class II molecules or by pretreatment of huAPC by human IL-10. Even in the presence of huAPC, CD4+ lymphocytes failed to respond to fixed PAEC or to PAEC-lysates, suggesting that PAEC must be viable to support lymphocyte proliferation. Finally, none of the nonendothelial porcine adherent cells tested was able to induce human lymphocyte proliferation, despite the fact that they also provided a large set of xenogeneic peptides. Our results show that the indirect presentation pathway of xenoantigens by huAPC to CD4+ lymphocytes is crucial in the response to porcine endothelial cells, and that IL-10 could be of therapeutic interest to prevent human lymphocyte activation by this pathway. Furthermore, we demonstrated that stimulatory signals specifically provided by endothelial cells are also necessary for this huAPC-restricted proliferative response.[1]


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