The role of CD8+ and CD4+ cells in islet allograft rejection

Transplantation. 1990 Jul;50(1):120-5. doi: 10.1097/00007890-199007000-00022.


The requirements of CD8+ and CD4+ cells for islet graft rejection in combinations with different histoincompatibilities were investigated by in vivo administration of anti-Lyt-2.2 (CD8) mAb, anti-L3T4 (CD4) mAb, or both to recipient mice. In B10.AQR----B10.A (H-2K-incompatible) and B10.A(5R)----B10.A (H-2K- and IA-incompatible) combinations, administration of either anti-Lyt-2.2 (CD8) or anti-L3T4 (CD4) mAb completely blocked islet graft rejection, indicating that neither CD8+ cells nor CD4+ cells alone were capable of mediating rejection, and that collaboration of CD8+ cells and CD4+ cells was necessary. On the other hand, in the BALB/c----B6 (H-2- and non-H-2-incompatible) combination, administration of anti-Lyt-2.2 (CD8) or anti-L3T4 (CD4) mAb resulted in rejection of most of the grafts, although survival was prolonged significantly, and administration of both anti-Lyt-2.2 (CD8) and anti-L3T4 (CD4) mAb together completely blocked rejection. These results suggested that either CD8+ or CD4+ cells were capable of mediating rejection, but that rejection was maximal in the presence of both T cell subsets. Immunohistochemical analyses showed marked depletion of CD8+ cells and CD4+ cells in grafted islets as well as spleens when anti-Lyt-2.2 (CD8) and anti-L3T4 (CD4) mAb, respectively, were injected.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antigens, CD / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Graft Rejection*
  • Graft Survival
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD