Tikkanen JM, Lemström KB, Koskinen PK
Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2002 Mar 165:724-9
T cell activation is a proximal event in the initiation of chronic rejection that may ultimately lead to obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) after lung transplantation. In addition to primary signals generated by the T cell receptor, T cell activation relies on costimulatory signals, of which the most important are mediated via interaction between CD28 and its ligands B7-1 and B7-2. In nontreated rat tracheal allografts, B7-2, but not B7-1, expression peaked 10 d after transplantation, unlike in syngeneic grafts, where no B7-2 upregulation was observed. Selective blockade of the CD28/B7-1 T cell costimulatory pathway by a mutant form of CTLA4Ig (cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 immunoglobulin), CTLA4IgY100F, did not affect epithelial injury or degree of luminal occlusion in rat tracheal allografts. Treatment with CTLA4Ig fusion protein, which blocks both CD28/B7-1 and CD28/B7-2 interaction, significantly delayed the development of epithelial injury and airway occlusion. Immunohistochemical analyses of allografts showed that selective inhibition of the CD28/B7-1 pathway did not affect cytokine expression. In contrast, treatment with CTLA4Ig was associated with a significant decrease in the intragraft production of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 2, and interferon gamma, as well as slightly increased intragraft expression of interleukin 10. In conclusion, CTLA4Ig-mediated costimulatory blockade delays epithelial injury and attenuates obliterative changes and is associated with marked suppression of helper T cell type 1 (Th1)-dominated cytokine response. These observations emphasize the role of the CD28/B7-2 costimulatory pathway in regulating proinflammatory and Th1 cytokine responses and thereby in the development of epithelial and graft injury gradually leading to obliteration of the airway lumen.
Cardiopulmonary Research Group, Transplantation Laboratory, University of Helsinki, Haartmaninkatu 3, 00029 Helsinki, Finland. firstname.lastname@example.org