Direct Allorecognition Promotes Activation of Bystander Dendritic Cells and Licenses Them for Th1 Priming: A Functional Link Between Direct and Indirect Allosensitization


Dr A. C. Wallgren, Department of Endodontics and Oral Diagnostics, The Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University, P.O. Box 450, Göteborg 405 30, Sweden. E-mail:


T-cell sensitization to indirectly presented alloantigens (indirect pathway of allorecognition) plays a critical role in chronic rejection. The usual very efficient priming of such self-restricted, T helper type 1 (Th1)-deviated CD4+ T cells obviously conflicts with the fact that allogeneic MHC molecules are poorly immunogenic per se. The aim of the present study is to elucidate whether direct allosensitization induces production of inflammatory mediators that may affect recruitment and activation of immature bystander (host) dendritic cells (DC). These potential mechanisms were studied in vitro by conducting primary allogeneic mixed leucocyte reactions (MLR), mimicking the priming phase in secondary lymphoid organs, and secondary MLR, mimicking the effector phase within the graft. Primary, and particularly secondary, MLR supernatants were found to contain high levels of monocyte/immature DC-recruiting CC chemokines and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Exposure of immature DC to primary or secondary MLR supernatants was found to upregulate CD40 expression and further enhanced lipopolysaccharide-induced interleukin-12 (IL-12) p70 production. Secondary MLR supernatants additionally induced upregulation of CD86 and deviated allogeneic T-cell responses towards Th1 (enhanced interferon-γ production without concomitant induction of detectable IL-4 or IL-10 production). These findings indicate that direct allorecognition may act as a Th1-deviating adjuvant for indirect allosensitization.