A role for CD95 ligand in preventing graft rejection

Nature. 1995 Oct 19;377(6550):630-2. doi: 10.1038/377630a0.


Testis is a remarkable immune-privileged site, long known for its ability to support allogeneic and xenogeneic tissue transplants. Here we have investigated the molecular basis for testis immune privilege. Testis grafts derived from mice that can express functional CD95 (Fas or Apo-1) ligand survived indefinitely when transplanted under the kidney capsule of allogeneic animals, whereas testis grafts derived from mutant gld mice, which express non-functional ligand, were rejected. Further analysis of testis showed that CD95 ligand messenger RNA is constitutively expressed by testicular Sertoli cells, and that Sertoli cells from normal mice, but not gld mice, were accepted when transplanted into allogeneic recipients. CD95 ligand expression in the testis probably acts by inducing apoptotic cell death of CD95-expressing, recipient T cells activated in response to graft antigens. These findings indicate that CD95 ligand could be used to create immune-privileged tissue for a variety of transplant uses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control
  • Kidney / immunology
  • Kidney / surgery
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / biosynthesis
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sertoli Cells / immunology
  • Sertoli Cells / metabolism
  • Sertoli Cells / transplantation
  • Testis / cytology
  • Testis / immunology*
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Tissue Transplantation
  • fas Receptor / immunology*


  • DNA Primers
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Fasl protein, mouse
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • fas Receptor