Background. We have shown previously that sPSGL, a soluble glycoprotein ligand for P and E selectins, reduces the events associated with ischemia/reperfusion injury of the kidney. In the present study, we have attempted to modulate differentially early inflammatory influences and later host alloresponsiveness in an LBNF1-Lewis renal graft model by treatment with sPSGL in combination with a marginally effective dose of cyclosporine (CsA). Methods. Four experimental groups were studied: group 1=control animals receiving vehicle only; group 2=sPSGL monotherapy alone; group 3=low-dose CsA; group 4=sPSGL plus low-dose CsA. Grafts were removed at 1, 3, 5, and 7 days (n=3/time point) and assessed by histology, immunohistology, and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Long-surviving grafts in recipients of groups 3 and 4 were followed functionally for more than 28 weeks. Results. Graft function was prolonged indefinitely in recipients in group 4, all of which survived for more than 200 days. In contrast, survival of animals in groups 1 and 2 was not increased substantially, whereas only 4 of 17 animals in group 3 (23.5%) survived more than 24 days (P<0.01). Five days after engraftment, necrosis was relatively minimal in group 4 organs but pronounced in those of the other groups. By immunohistology, numbers of infiltrating CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and ED1+ macrophages were significantly diminished in group 4 allografts compared with those of the other groups. Serial assessment of chemokine and cytokine mRNA expression confirmed these findings. The long-term effects of CsA treatment alone were compared with those of sPSGL in combination with CsA. Proteinuria remained virtually absent in group 4 recipients. Morphologically, the few long-surviving grafts in group 3 showed signs of chronic rejection; those in group 4 remained relatively normal. Conclusions. Although treatment with sPSGL alone showed no apparent influence on the acutely rejecting transplants, at least by the parameters examined in this study, it produced indefinite survival of kidney grafts when used in combination with low-dose CsA. The data support the influence of early nonspecific injury on later immunological rejection.
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