Cross-primed CD8(+) T cells mediate graft rejection via a distinct effector pathway

Nat Immunol. 2002 Sep;3(9):844-51. doi: 10.1038/ni831. Epub 2002 Aug 12.


To prevent bystander destruction of healthy host tissues, cytotoxic CD8(+) T lymphocytes are fitted with specific receptors that direct their destructive forces specifically against chosen targets. We show here, however, that anti-H-Y monospecific, H-2(b-restricted MataHari CD8(+) T cells reject H-2(k) male skin grafts, with which they cannot directly interact. Such rejection is interferon-gamma-dependent and only occurs if the recipient endothelium expresses H-2(b). The findings suggest an alternate indirect effector pathway that requires processing and presentation of the donor H-Y antigen by recipient endothelium and have implications for both transplantation and autoimmune disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • H-2 Antigens / physiology
  • Heart Transplantation / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Skin Transplantation / immunology
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • H-2 Antigens
  • Interferon-gamma