Critical role of effector macrophages in mediating CD4-dependent alloimmune injury of transplanted liver parenchymal cells

Phillip H. Horne, Jason M. Zimmerer, Mason G. Fisher, Keri E. Lunsford, Gyongyi Nadasdy, Tibor Nadasdy, Nico Van Rooijen, Ginny L. Bumgardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Despite the recognition that humoral rejection is an important cause of allograft injury, the mechanism of Ab-mediated injury to allograft parenchyma is not well understood. We used a well-characterized murine hepatocellular allograft model to determine the mechanism of Ab-mediated destruction of transplanted liver parenchymal cells. In this model, allogeneic hepatocytes are transplanted into CD8-deficient hosts to focus on CD4-dependent, alloantibody-mediated rejection. Host serum alloantibody levels correlated with in vivo allospecific cytotoxic activity in CD8 knockout hepatocyte rejector mice. Host macrophage depletion, but not CD4+ T cell, NK cell, neutrophil, or complement depletion, inhibited in vivo allocytotoxicity. Recipient macrophage deficiency delayed CD4-dependent hepatocyte rejection and inhibited in vivo allocytotoxicity without influencing alloantibody production. Furthermore, hepatocyte coincubation with alloantibody and macrophages resulted in Ab-dependent hepatocellular cytotoxicity in vitro. These studies are consistent with a paradigm of acute humoral rejection in which CD4+ T cell-dependent alloantibody production results in the targeting of transplanted allogeneic parenchymal cells for macrophage-mediated cytotoxic immune damage. Consequently, strategies to eliminate recipient macrophages during CD4-dependent rejection pathway may prolong allograft survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1224-1231
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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