Pretreatment of organ allografts to reduce graft immunogenicity is an attractive and potentially clinically applicable concept. We have studied the effect of perfusing rat pancreases with anti-class II monoclonal antibody (MoAb), to remove class IIpositive accessory cells from the intact organ, on prolongation of allograft survival after transplantation. The capacity of pancreatic islets obtained from these perfused organs to stimulate proliferation of allogeneic T-lymphocytes was studied in a mixed isletlymphocyte culture (MILC). There was a significant prolongation in pancreas-allograft survival when intact pancreases were transplanted after a 3-h normothermic perfusion with MoAb reactive with class II antigens (16.2 ± 3.6 days, n = 19) compared with control animals (11.0 ± 1.4 days, n = 24). In vitro treatment of islets with MoAb and complement (CI) inhibited their stimulatory capacity in the MILC, as measured by [3H]thymidine uptake. Similarly, the stimulatory capacity of islets removed from perfused pancreases was also abrogated when MoAb was included in the perfusate. Although reduction in graft immunogenicity, by increasing allograft survival, was achieved by a 3-h pretreatment regimen, it was not sufficient to inhibit rejection altogether in our transplant model.

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