Chronic rejection, the most important cause of long-term graft failure, is thought to result from both alloantigen-dependent and -independent factors. To examine these influences, cytokine dynamics were assessed by semiquantitative competitive reverse transcriptase-PCR and by immunohistology in an established rat model of chronic rejection lf renal allografts. Isograft controls develop morphologic and immunohistologic changes that are similar to renal allograft changes, although quantitatively less intense and at a delayed speed; these are thought to occur secondary to antigen-independent events. Sequential cytokine expression was determined throughout the process. During an early reversible allograft rejection episode, both T-cell associated [interleukin (IL) 2, IL-2 receptor, IL-4, and interferon gamma] and macrophage (IL-1 alpha, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and IL-6) products were up-regulated despite transient immunosuppression. RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted) peaked at 2 weeks; intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM-1) was maximally expressed at 6 weeks. Macrophage products such as monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1) increased dramatically (to 10 times), presaging intense peak macrophage infiltration at 16 weeks. In contrast, in isografts, ICAM-1 peaked at 24 weeks. MCP-1 was maximally expressed at 52 weeks, commensurate with a progressive increase in infiltrating macrophages. Cytokine expression in the spleen of allograft and isograft recipients was insignificant. We conclude that chronic rejection of kidney allografts in rats is predominantly a local macrophage-dependent event with intense up-regulation of macrophage products such as MCP-1, IL-6, and inducible nitric oxide synthase. The cytokine expression in isografts emphasizes the contribution of antigen-independent events. The dynamics of RANTES expression between early and late phases of chronic rejection suggest a key role in mediating the events of the chronic process.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995RU75900040
View details for PubMedID 7568006