Friday, February 10, 2012

Transfusion in the absence of inflammation induces antigen-specific tolerance to murine RBCs

Most human transfusion recipients fail to make detectable alloantibodies to foreign RBC antigens ("nonresponders"). Herein, we use a murine model to test the hypothesis that nonresponders may be immunologically tolerant. FVB mice transfused with RBCs expressing transgenic human glycophorin A (hGPA) antigen in the absence of inflammation produced undetectable levels of anti-hGPA immunoglobulins, unlike those transfused in the presence of polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid–induced inflammation. Mice in the nonresponder group failed to produce anti-hGPA after subsequent transfusions in the presence of polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid, whereas anti-hGPA levels increased in the responder group. This tolerance was antigen specific, because nonresponders to hGPA produced alloantibodies to RBCs that expressed a different transgenic antigen. This tolerance was not an idiosyncrasy of the hGPA antigen nor of the recipient strain, because B10.BR mice transfused with membrane-bound hen egg lysozyme antigen–transgenic RBCs also demonstrated induced nonresponsiveness. These data demonstrate that RBCs transfused in the absence of inflammation can induce tolerance (read more).

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