- Top of page
- Creation of the Inflammatory Compartment
- Features of the Inflammatory Compartment
- Natural History of TCMR and Response to Therapy
- Advantages of the Model
In kidney allografts, T cell mediated rejection (TCMR) is characterized by infiltration of the interstitium by T cells and macrophages, intense IFNG and TGFB effects, and epithelial deterioration. Recent experimental and clinical studies provide the basis for a provisional model for TCMR. The model proposes that the major unit of cognate recognition in TCMR is effector T cells engaging donor antigen on macrophages. This event creates the inflammatory compartment that recruits effector and effector memory CD4 and CD8 T cells, both cognate and noncognate, and macrophage precursors. Cognate T cells cross the donor microcirculation to enter the interstitium but spare the microcirculation. Local inflammation triggers dedifferentiation of the adjacent epithelium (e.g. loss of transporters and expression of embryonic genes) rather than cell death, via mechanisms that do not require known T-cell cytotoxic mechanisms or direct contact of T cells with the epithelium. Local epithelial changes trigger a response of the entire nephron and a second wave of dedifferentiation. The dedifferentiated epithelium is unable to exclude T cells, which enter to produce tubulitis lesions. Thus TCMR is a cognate recognition-based process that creates local inflammation and epithelial dedifferentiation, stereotyped nephron responses, and tubulitis, and if untreated causes irreversible nephron loss.