Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is linked to acceleration of solid organ transplant vascular sclerosis (TVS) and chronic rejection (CR). Donor latent CMV infection increases cardiac-resident macrophages and T cells leading to increased inflammation, promoting allograft rejection. To investigate the role of cardiac-resident passenger macrophages in CMV-mediated TVS/CR, macrophages were depleted from latently ratCMV (RCMV)-infected donor allografts prior to transplantation. Latently RCMV-infected donor F344 rats were treated with clodronate, PBS, or control liposomes 3 days prior to cardiac transplant into RCMV-naïve Lewis recipients. Clodronate treatment significantly increased graft survival from post-operative day (POD)61 to POD84 and decreased TVS at rejection. To determine the kinetics of the effect of clodronate treatment's effect, a time study revealed that clodronate treatment significantly decreased macrophage infiltration into allograft tissues as early as POD14; altered allograft cytokine/chemokine protein levels, fibrosis development, and inflammatory gene expression profiles. These findings support our hypothesis that increased graft survival as a result of allograft passenger macrophage depletion was in part a result of altered immune response kinetics. Depletion of donor macrophages prior to transplant is a strategy to modulate allograft rejection and reduce TVS in the setting of CMV + donors transplanted into CMV naïve recipients.
- chronic rejection
- latent infection
- transplant vascular sclerosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases