Primary and secondary immunocompetence in mixed allogeneic chimeras

Matthew A. Williams, Andrew B. Adams, Melody B. Walsh, Nozomu Shirasugi, Thandi M. Onami, Thomas C. Pearson, Rafi Ahmed, Christian P. Larsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Targeted disruption of T cell costimulatory pathways, particularly CD28 and CD40, has allowed for the development of minimally myeloablative strategies for the induction of mixed allogeneic chimerism and donor-specific tolerance across full MHC barriers. In this study we analyze in depth the ability of mixed allogeneic chimeras in two strain combinations to mount effective host-restricted and donor-restricted antiviral CD4 and CD8 responses, as well as the impact of development of mixed chimerism on the maintenance of pre-existing memory populations. While antiviral CD8 responses in mixed chimeras following acute viral infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus Armstrong or vaccinia virus are largely host-restricted, donor-restricted CD8 responses as well as host- and donor-restricted CD4 responses are also readily detected, and virus is promptly cleared. We further demonstrate that selection of donor-restricted T cells in mixed chimeras is principally mediated by bone marrow-derived cells in the thymus. Conversely, we find that mixed chimeras exhibit a deficit in their ability to deal with a chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus clone 13 infection. Encouragingly, pre-existing memory populations are largely unaffected by the development of high level mixed chimerism and maintain the ability to control viral rechallenge. Our results suggest that while pre-existing T cell memory and primary immunocompetence to acute infection are preserved in mixed allogeneic chimeras, MHC class I and/or class II tissue matching may be required to fully preserve immunocompetence in dealing with chronic viral infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2382-2389
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


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