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Background. Costimulation through CD40-CD154 plays an important role in T-cell activation. Although systemic administration of anti-CD154 antibody prevents or delays rejection of organ allografts in animal models, the molecular mechanisms responsible for this effect are not well defined. Methods. We have previously demonstrated that priming of mice (H2(d)) with CD40(-/-) but not with wild-type naive B cells (H2b) leads to alloantigen- specific T-cell hyporesponsiveness in vitro. In the present study, we investigated whether such priming modifies allograft rejection in a major histocompatibility complex-mismatched murine cardiac transplantation model. Results. Priming of hosts with donor-specific CD40(-/-) B cells delayed rejection of subsequently transplanted wild-type cardiac allografts by 8.0 days (P<0.001). The lack of CD40 on the cardiac graft delayed rejection in unprimed or primed hosts by 3-5 days. Prolongation of graft survival correlated with the failure of infused CD40(-/-) B cells to express B7.2 and ICAM-1 in vivo. Conclusions. Our data suggest that CD40-CD154 costimulation contributes to T cell priming to alloantigens in vivo and to a second set rejection phase in which donor antigens are presented to primed T cells.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1284 - 1287