RGD Reference Report - Synthetic MHC class I peptide prolongs cardiac survival and attenuates transplant arteriosclerosis in the Lewis-->Fischer 344 model of chronic allograft rejection. - Rat Genome Database
BACKGROUND: A synthetic peptide corresponding to residues 75-84 of the alpha1 domain of HLA-B7 molecule (HLA-B7.75-84 [Allotrap]) inhibits cytotoxic T cell function in vitro and, when combined with subtherapeutic doses of cyclosporine (CsA), prolongs allogeneic cardiac survival. We now report the effects of HLA-B7.75-84 in the Lewis --> Fischer 344 rat model of chronic cardiac allograft rejection. METHODS: Animals were treated with CsA (5 mg/kg/day s.c.) alone or with CsA plus alternate-day HLA-B7.75-84 (20 mg/kg/day i.p.) for 30 days. Allografts harvested at day 100 were evaluated by histology and immunohistology. RESULTS: HLA-B7.75-84 plus CsA prolonged allograft survival (75% of allografts survived >90 days) compared with CsA alone (27% of allografts survived >90 days) (P<0.05). Histologic examination of control allografts showed dense cellular infiltrates and moderate transplant arteriosclerosis (>75% of arteries showed 10-20% occlusion). Infiltrating leukocytes consisted of macrophages (>75% cells), T cells (10-20%), and rare natural killer cells (<5%). Cell activation was shown by expression of major histocompatibility complex class II antigens (>75%), interleukin (IL) 2 receptor (5-10%), and staining for IL-2 (approximately 5% of intragraft mononuclear cells), interferon-gamma (5-10%) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (approximately 20%). Leukocytes and vessels also showed labeling for the fibrogenic cytokine, transforming growth factor-beta, and all vessels showed dense deposition of IgG (IgG2a, IgG2b) and C3. The addition of HLA-B7.75-84 decreased overall cellularity (P<0.01) without affecting the composition of the infiltrate, but completely prevented transplant arteriosclerosis, diminished myocardial injury, and abrogated expression of IL-2R, IL-2, interferon-gamma, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and transforming growth factor-beta. HLA-B7.75-84 also blunted the humoral response, which resulted in a predominance of vascular deposition of the non-complement-fixing IgG2c isotype and a concomitant decrease in C3. CONCLUSIONS: Therapy with synthetic class I major histocompatibility complex peptide (HLA-B7.75-84) attenuates key histologic features of graft arteriosclerosis, in association with inhibition of multiple cytokines and growth factors and modulation of host alloantibody responses in vivo, which is of interest since Allotrap is currently undergoing clinical trials.