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Y. Liu, L. Chen, A.W. Taylor, M.R. Dana; Bilateral Allogeneic Corneal Transplantation: Corneal Tissue Antigens as Factors in Graft Rejection . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):3212.
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Purpose: It is controversial whether a host of a corneal transplant who has rejected the graft in one eye is at higher risk of rejecting a subsequent graft in the contralateral eye, even when the donors do not share known transplantation antigens. In this study, we employed the known immunogenetics of mice to investigate the possibility that immunity is induced against cornea-specific antigens when the first corneal graft is rejected. Methods: BALB/c hosts (H2d) received corneal grafts in their right eye from B10.AKM (H2m) mice. 2.5 weeks later we enucleated their grafted eyes to prevent continued exposure to B10.AKM antigens. 3 days later, the left eye of the same BALB/c hosts was grafted with B10.D2 cornea. B10.D2 mice share the same MHC class II (H2d) with BALB/c host; however, they are multiple minor H difference with BALB/c and multiple minor H and MHC disparities with B10.AKM mice. Corneal graft survival was evaluated 8 weeks after transplantation of the second graft. Results: BALB/c hosts that accepted (31%) their B10.AKM grafts on the right, rejected their left eye B10.D2 graft at an expected rejection rate of 66%. However, all BALB/c hosts that rejected (69%) their B10.AKM grafts rejected their B10.D2 grafts, and this rejection was at an accelerated pace. These results displayed a significant (p<0.03) difference by chi-square test association between the rates of rejecting the unrelated grafts between the two eyes. Conclusions: Since the first and second grafts share no minor or MHC transplantation antigens, the enhanced rejection of the second corneal graft in the contralateral eye can be best explained by primed immunity against corneal antigens shared between the grafts. These data suggest the possibility of an immune response to cornea-specific antigens following a rejection of the initial corneal graft.
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