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1.  Temporary, but Essential Requirement of CD8+ T Cells Early in the Pathogenesis of Diabetes in BB Rats as Revealed by Thymectomy and CD8 Depletion 
Autoimmunity-prone BB rats demonstrate a T lymphocytopenia and abnormal T cell subset distribution. To test whether the life span of all T cells or only of certain subsets is reduced in BB rats, we thymectomised 8-week-old BB and PVG rats and subsequently assessed size and composition of the T cell population over a 6-week-period. In both strains, thymectomy (Tx) was followed by a decrease in peripheral T cell numbers, which was proportionally larger in BB rats. The decline of the Thy-1+ recent thymic migrant (RTM) T cell phenotype was similar in both strains. BB rats showed a rapid preferential loss of CD8+ and CD45RC+ T cells, whereas the relative loss of RT6+ T cells was proportional to that of all T cells and not significantly different from that in PVG rats. Tx at 8-week did not prevent diabetes. Tx of 4-week-old BB rats revealed essentially the same changes in peripheral T cell subset distribution as in 8-week-old animals. However, Tx at week 4 did prevent diabetes. Since this raised the possibility of a temporary requirement of CD8+ T cells for the development of diabetes, we performed CD8 depletions during different pre-diabetic intervals. We found that CD8 depletion from 4 to 8 and 4 to 14 weeks, but not from 8 to 14 weeks of age prevented diabetes. We conclude that the protective effect of early adult Tx is, at least in part, due to the rapid loss of CD8+ T cells, and that these cells are only required between 4 and 8 weeks of age for diabetes to develop in BB rats.
PMCID: PMC2485407  PMID: 14768945
2.  Origin of neointimal endothelium and α-actin–positive smooth muscle cells in transplant arteriosclerosis 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2001;107(11):1411-1422.
The development of transplant arteriosclerosis (TA) is today’s most important problem in clinical organ transplantation. Histologically, TA is characterized by perivascular inflammation and progressive intimal thickening. Current thought on this process of vascular remodeling assumes that neointimal vascular smooth muscle (VSM) cells and endothelium in TA are graft-derived, holding that medial VSM cells proliferate and migrate into the subendothelial space in response to signals from inflammatory cells and damaged graft endothelium. Using MHC class I haplotype-specific immunohistochemical staining and single-cell PCR analyses, we show that the neointimal α-actin–positive VSM cells in rat aortic or cardiac allografts are of recipient and not of donor origin. In aortic but not in cardiac allografts, recipient-derived endothelial cells (ECs) replaced donor endothelium. Cyclosporine treatment prevents neointima formation and preserves the vascular media in aortic allografts. Recipient-derived ECs do not replace graft endothelium after cyclosporine treatment. We propose that, although it progresses beyond the needs of functional repair, TA reflects the activity of a normal healing process that restores vascular wall function following allograft-induced immunological injury.
PMCID: PMC209313  PMID: 11390423

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