Imaging the rejecting heart. In vivo detection of major histocompatibility complex class II antigen induction.
BACKGROUND Mice with abdominal heterotopic heart transplants were studied to determine whether scintigraphic detection of an increase in major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II antigen expression could be used as a noninvasive method for diagnosing early rejection.
METHODS AND RESULTS Allografts from C3H/He (H2k) donors were transplanted into BALB/c (H2d) recipients (n = 18). Two of the 18 allografted mice were treated with cyclosporine (15 mg/kg/day), and two isografted mice served as controls. Each mouse was injected intravenously with 100 microCi of 111In-labeled anti-MHC class II monoclonal antibodies (10-2-16 and 14-4-4S) 24 hours before scintigraphy. After imaging, the mice were killed for tissue counting and histopathology. Radiotracer uptake in the grafts reflected the severity of rejection as determined by histopathological criteria. The percent injected dose per gram of tissue in excised grafts was 4.8 +/- 1.8 (mean +/- SD) for normal grafts (n = 8), 11.1 +/- 9.7 for grafts with grade IA rejection (n = 3, NS), 18.0 +/- 3.8 for grafts with grade IIIA rejection (n = 4, p less than 0.001 versus normal), 18.7 +/- 3.2 for grafts with grade IIIB rejection (n = 3, p less than 0.001 versus normal), and 22.6 +/- 5.4 for grafts with severe rejection (grade IV) (n = 3, p less than 0.001 versus normal). Rejecting allografts with lymphocyte infiltration but without significant myocyte necrosis could be identified by this scintigraphic method. In the BALB/c donor-C57BL/6 (H2b, IE-) recipient combination, rejecting allografts were visualized by 14-4-4S (anti-IEk,d,p,r) antibody but not by 10-2-16 (anti-IAk,r,s,f) antibody. This difference shows that class II antigens induced on donor hearts are solely responsible for the antibody uptake in positive scintigrams of rejecting allografts.
CONCLUSIONS We conclude that 111In-labeled anti-MHC class II antigen antibody imaging is a sensitive and noninvasive method for detecting cardiac allograft rejection.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association