- Dr Ignacio Anegon, Principal Investigator
- Dr Xian-Liang LI, Post-Doctoral Fellow
- Dr Lise Caron, Research Associate
- Ms Séverine Menoret, Research Technician
- Dr Carole Guillonneau, Post-Doctoral Fellow
- Dr Brigitte Le Mauff, Research Associate
- INSERM U643, Nantes, France
- Analysis of Cells That Inhibit Anti-graft Immune Responses
Graft rejection is mediated by the activation of the immune system. The immune system also contains cells that, when activated, downregulate the effector cells that destroy the graft.
There are several types of these cells, and the present project deals with the analysis of one that is among the less-studied (CD8+ T lymphocytes). The model of study is heart transplantation between two strains of rat that differ completely in their major tissue antigens and that are treated with a molecule that blocks certain cell interactions. In these animals, we have demonstrated the development of cells capable of actively suppressing anti-graft immune responses, even in the absence of the molecule that originally allowed their generation. The aim of this project is to characterize the mechanisms of action and generation of these cells through the use of in vitro and in vivo systems.
Ultimately, a better understanding of these mechanisms may allow development of new therapeutic procedures for inhibition of graft rejection through generation of autonomous, active mechanisms that suppress specifically immune responses against donor antigens, but not those against cancer cells or microorganisms.