It is well-documented that certain chemokines or their receptors play important roles in the graft rejection. However, the roles of chemokines and their receptors in the maintenance of transplantation tolerance remain unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that blocking of the interaction between the chemokine receptor, CXCR6, highly expressed on Vα14+ NKT cells and its ligand, CXCL16, resulted in the failure to maintain graft tolerance and thus in the induction of acceleration of graft rejection. In a mouse transplant tolerance model, the expression of CXCL16 was up-regulated in the tolerated allografts, and anti-CXCL16 mAb inhibited intragraft accumulation of NKT cells. In vitro experiments farther showed that blocking of CXCL16/CXCR6 interaction significantly affected not only chemotaxis but also cell adhesion of NKT cells. These results demonstrate the unique role of CXCL16 and CXCR6 molecules in the maintenance of cardiac allograft tolerance mediated by NKT cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy