CD8 T cells are sufficient to mediate allorecognition and allograft rejection

Cell Immunol. Mar-Apr 2002;216(1-2):6-14. doi: 10.1016/s0008-8749(02)00530-0.


Different T cell subsets may play different roles in allorecognition and allograft rejection. It has been suggested that CD8 T cells can only initiate rejection with help from CD4 T cells. Since CD8 T cells may have different requirements for allorecognition and for costimulation, it is important to clarify the role of CD8 cells in rejection. We examined the role of CD8 cells in allorecognition using a TCR transgenic mouse transplantation model. In our study, CD8 cells were able to recognize alloantigens and reject allografts in the absence of help from CD4 T cells. Furthermore our study provides a model to study the mechanisms of CD8-mediated allograft rejection. It may be important in the future, to consider that CD8 T cells may need to be targeted independently of CD4 T cells in strategies used to prevent rejection and induce tolerance.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • Heart Transplantation / immunology
  • Homozygote
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Transplantation, Homologous / immunology*


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell