Abstract 760: Heme Oxygenase-1 expression in Dendritic Cells determines the Outcome of Transplantation Arteriosclerosis
Introduction: Although expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO1) attenuates transplantation arteriosclerosis, the mechanism by which HO1 exerts its protective effect remains unclear. We studied the effect of HO1-deficient vs. wildtype (WT) dendritic cells (DCs) on the T-cell priming response and outcome in a murine transplant arteriosclerosis model.
Methods: At day 0 C57bl6 mice received either WT (n=6) or HO1-knockout DCs (n=6) pre-sensitized with Balb/c splenocytes lysate to accelerate the development of arteriosclerosis. At day 10 an aorta segment from Balb/c mice was transplanted into the carotid artery position of C57Bl6 mice.14 days after transplantation allografts were excised and processed for immunohistochemical analysis.
Results: HO1-deficient DCs significantly increased neointimal hyperplasia as compared to WT DCs (116995 vs. 46114μm2 P<0.05) and incidence of intima formation (83 vs. 50% in WT DC). HO1 deficient DCs also increased medial thickeness (15936 vs.12034 μm2 P<0.05) and intimal VSMCs content (76 vs. 46% P<0.05) and resulted in more prominent medial cell infiltration (461μm2 vs. 232μm2 P<0.05). Although HO1 deficient and WT DCs could be detected in allografts, HO1-nullizygous DCs induced an increase in CD4+ T-cell infiltration (9.5 vs. 0.1% in WT P<0.05) concomitant to a decrease of CD8+ T cell infiltration (8 vs.14%, P<0.05). In line with these observations Affymetrix microarray analysis confirmed that HO1 deletion in DCs was associated with a significant downregulation of MHCII-H2A expression (associated with CD4+T-cell activation) and induction of inhibitors of MHCII expression (including IK protein) whereas MHC I expression remained unchanged.
Conclusions: HO1 expression in dendritic cells increases vascular cell infiltration with a higher CD8+/CD4+ T-cell ratio by stabilizing MHCII expression in vascular allografts resulting in inhibition of neointima formation and hence improved allograft survival.