Differential expression of the IFN-gamma-inducible CXCR3-binding chemokines, IFN-inducible protein 10, monokine induced by IFN, and IFN-inducible T cell alpha chemoattractant in human cardiac allografts: association with cardiac allograft vasculopathy and acute rejection

Zhao, D.Xiao-Ming.; Hu, Y.; Miller, G.G.; Luster, A.D.; Mitchell, R.N.; Libby, P.

Journal of Immunology 169(3): 1556-1560


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-1767
PMID: 12133984
Accession: 010467074

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CXCR3 chemokines exert potent biological effects on both immune and vascular cells. The dual targets suggest their important roles in cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) and rejection. Therefore, we investigated expression of IFN-inducible protein 10 (IP-10), IFN-inducible T cell alpha chemoattractant (I-TAC), monokine induced by IFN (Mig), and their receptor CXCR3 in consecutive endomyocardial biopsies (n = 133) from human cardiac allografts and corresponding normal donor hearts (n = 11) before transplantation. Allografts, but not normal hearts, contained IP-10, Mig, and I-TAC mRNA. Persistent elevation of IP-10 and I-TAC was associated with CAV. Allografts with CAV had an IP-10-GAPDH ratio 3.7 +/- 0.8 compared with 0.8 +/- 0.2 in those without CAV (p = 0.004). Similarly, I-TAC mRNA levels were persistently elevated in allografts with CAV (6.7 +/- 1.9 in allografts with vs 1.5 +/- 0.3 in those without CAV, p = 0.01). In contrast, Mig mRNA was induced only during rejection (2.4 +/- 0.9 with vs 0.6 +/- 0.2 without rejection, p = 0.015). In addition, IP-10 mRNA increased above baseline during rejection (4.1 +/- 2.3 in rejecting vs 1.8 +/- 1.2 in nonrejecting biopsies, p = 0.038). I-TAC did not defer significantly with rejection. CXCR3 mRNA persistently elevated after cardiac transplantation. Double immunohistochemistry revealed differential cellular distribution of CXCR3 chemokines. Intragraft vascular cells expressed high levels of IP-10 and I-TAC, while Mig localized predominantly in infiltrating macrophages. CXCR3 was localized in vascular and infiltrating cells. CXCR3 chemokines are induced in cardiac allografts and differentially associated with CAV and rejection. Differential cellular distribution of these chemokines in allografts indicates their central roles in multiple pathways involving CAV and rejection. This chemokine pathway may serve as a monitor and target for novel therapies to prevent CAV and rejection.