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Although it is widely accepted that there is a hierarchy in the susceptibility of different allografts to rejection, the mechanisms responsible are unknown. We show that the increased susceptibility of H-2K(b+) skin and islet allografts to rejection is not based on their ability to activate more H-2K(b)-specific T cells in vivo; heart allografts stimulate the activation and proliferation of many more H-2K(b)-specific T cells than either skin or islet allografts. Rejection of all three types of graft generate memory cells by 25 days posttransplant. These data provide evidence that neither tissue-specific Ags nor, surprisingly, the number of APCs carried in the graft dictate their susceptibility to T cell-mediated rejection and suggest that the graft microenvironment and size may play a more important role in determining the susceptibility of an allograft to rejection and resistance to tolerance induction.

Original publication




Journal article


J Immunol

Publication Date





2824 - 2830


Animals, Cell Movement, Disease Susceptibility, Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte, Graft Rejection, H-2 Antigens, Heart Transplantation, Immune Tolerance, Immunologic Memory, Islets of Langerhans Transplantation, Isoantigens, Lymph Nodes, Lymphocyte Activation, Lymphocyte Count, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Inbred CBA, Mice, Transgenic, Organ Transplantation, Postoperative Period, Skin Transplantation, T-Lymphocyte Subsets, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Transplantation, Homologous