Pretransplant immune-regulation predicts allograft tolerance

P. Dutta, M. Dart, D. A. Roenneburg, J. R. Torrealba, W. J. Burlingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


CD4+ Tregs specific for noninherited maternal antigens (NIMAd) are detectable in some but not all B6 × BDF1 backcross, H-2b homozygous offspring, and their presence is strongly correlated with extent of maternal (BDF1) microchimerism. We hypothesized that the level of pretransplant donor antigen-specific Tregs could predict allograft tolerance. To test this idea, mice were screened for bystander suppression in a DTH assay, followed 1 week later by DBA/2 heterotopic heart transplantation. NIMAd-exposed, H-2b offspring that failed to suppress DTH uniformly rejected heart allografts (12/12) by d15. In contrast, 5/6 NIMAd-exposed DTH 'regulators' accepted their allografts >100 days. The defect in 'nonregulator" offspring could be corrected by transfer of CD4+CD25+, but not CD4 +CD25neg or CD8+T cells from transplant acceptor mice. In conclusion, donor-specific T reg screening of F1 backcross offspring correctly predicted which recipients would accept a heart allograft. If translated to the clinic, similar pretransplant Treg screening could greatly enhance the effectiveness of tolerance as a clinical strategy in transplantation between family members. The authors show that tolerance or rejection of a heart allograft in F1 backcross mice can be predicted by pre-transplant, trans-vivo DTH analysis of T regulatory cells specific for noninherited maternal antigens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1301
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • NIMA
  • regulatory T cells
  • transplantation tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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