With the increasing frequency of transplantation of two or more organs into a single recipient, it has become evident that different organs are rejected with different kinetics. In this study the kinetics of skin, lung, and heart allograft rejection were compared in a rodent model. To study the influence of different allografts on the recipient’s immune system, simultaneous or sequential skin, lung, or heart transplants were performed in various combinations, using DA rats as recipients for PVG allografts. Recipients receiving primary allografts were treated postopera-tively with ten doses of cyclosporine (CsA) or preop-eratively with 4 doses of rabbit antirat thymocyte globulin (ATG). Subsequent transplants were performed a minimum of 40 days later without additional immunosuppression. All primary skin allografts and 60% of primary lung allografts were rejected, while 100% of the heart allografts were accepted indefinitely. Recipients of primary skin allografts rejected subsequent skin, lung, or heart allografts with accelerated kinetics. Recipients of primary heart allografts accepted subsequent skin, lung, and heart allografts indefinitely without further immunosuppression. Surprisingly, animals that had rejected a primary lung allograft accepted subsequent skin or heart allografts indefinitely. Simultaneously transplanted skin and lung allografts were concordantly rejected. However, these animals accepted a subsequent heart allograft indefinitely, suggesting a strong tolerizing effect of lung allografts. Our results indicate that tissue-specific differences are critical, not only in determining acceptance or rejection of a primary allograft but also in determining the fate of subsequent allografts.
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