Background: Previous studies showed that Lewis rats given posttransplant total lymphoid irradiation, antithymocyte globulin, and a single infusion of ACI peripheral blood or bone marrow cells develop tolerance to ACI heart allografts.
Methods: To determine the effects of cyclosporine on these tolerance induction protocols, groups of Lewis hosts, given either ACI blood or marrow infusions, were given a 60-day course of daily cyclosporine immediately after the cell infusion.
Results: Cyclosporine treatment was associated with uniform graft rejection in the groups given an ACI blood transfusion, and was associated with uniform graft acceptance in the groups given an ACI bone marrow infusion. Studies of donor-type T and B cell chimerism in the host blood showed that cyclosporine facilitated chimerism in the hosts given ACI bone marrow cells, and stable chimerism over a 300-day observation period was predicted by detectable chimerism by day 30. None of the hosts given ACI blood cells developed chimerism.
Conclusion: Cyclosporine facilitated long-term graft acceptance in a tolerization protocol that induced mixed chimerism, but prevented long-term graft acceptance in a tolerization protocol that did not induce chimerism.