The importance of H2 haplotype sharing in the induction of specific unresponsiveness by pretransplant blood transfusions.
Niimi M., Roelen DL., Witzke O., van Rood JJ., Claas FH., Wood KJ.
BACKGROUND: The beneficial effect on graft survival achieved by pretransplant blood transfusions is well established. Previous studies have shown that the degree of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) (mis)-match between the transfusion donor and the recipient plays a determining role. However, other factors are also involved. In this study, we explored the hypothesis that, in addition to sharing of MHC antigens between the transfusion donor and the recipient, the MHC type of the organ donor is also of importance. METHODS: To mimic the human situation, F1 mice, rather than inbred strains, were pretreated with haplotype-shared allogeneic whole blood transfusions and transplanted with hearts of organ donors with different matched or mismatched H2 haplotypes. RESULTS: When a heart was transplanted 1 week after donor-specific transfusion (DST; blood transfusion donor=organ donor), an excellent prolongation of graft survival was obtained (median survival time: 77 days vs. 9 days in untreated mice). However, this was only the case when a haplotype was shared with the recipient; a DST given with no match between organ donor (=BT donor) and recipient did not induce any prolongation. Furthermore, in order to obtain the optimal beneficial effect of a haplotype-shared blood transfusion, the other haplotype of the transfusion donor had to be mismatched with the recipient. The immunogenetic studies showed that haplotype-shared blood transfusions in combinations where the H2 type of the organ donor differed from that of the transfusion donor are less efficient in inducing prolongation of graft survival. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that haplotype-shared blood transfusions can induce a significantly prolonged survival of cardiac allografts in F1 mice. The immunogenetic studies suggest that presentation of alloantigen-derived peptides in the context of self MHC (the indirect pathway of allorecognition) is essential for the beneficial effect of haplotype-shared blood transfusions.