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Abstract

We used a model of rat hepatic allograft rejection to evaluate levels of procoagulant activity and tumor necrosis factor during acute cellular rejection. ACI livers were transplanted into Lewis rats, and Lewis-to-Lewis isografts and unoperated animals served as controls. Animals were killed on days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9. Splenic mononuclear cells were obtained by Ficoll-Hypaque gradients. Collagenase perfusion, metrizamide gradients and centrifugal elutriation were used to isolate Kupffer cells. Procoagulant activity assay of the splenic and Kupffer cells was done using a one-step clotting assay. Tumor necrosis factor was assayed using an L929 cytotoxicity assay. Histological evidence of acute rejection began on the 4th postoperative day, and rats died by the 9th or 10th postoperative day. Splenic procoagulant activity was significantly elevated in rejecting rats on day 4 and remained elevated until death. In contrast, Kupffer-cell procoagulant activity was elevated over controls by day 3 and remained significantly elevated until death. The tumor necrosis factor levels were elevated from day 1 and remained so until death. The data indicate that procoagulant activity is synthesized both by peripheral monocytes and locally by Kupffer cells and that procoagulant activity and tumor necrosis factor levels rise during hepatic allograft rejection. Because procoagulant activity and tumor necrosis factor mediate immune functions that are postulated to be important in acute rejection (immune cell adherence, vascular thrombosis and delayed-type hypersensitivity), these elevations may contribute to the pathogenesis of acute rejection. (HEPATOLOGY 1991;14:883–887).