Interleukin-16 deficiency suppresses the development of chronic rejection in murine cardiac transplantation model

Naoyuki Kimura, Satoshi Itoh, Susumu Nakae, Robert C. Axtell, Jeffrey B. Velotta, Ernst Jan Bos, Denis R. Merk, Yongquan Gong, Homare Okamura, Claude M. Nagamine, Hideo Adachi, Hardy Kornfeld, Robert C. Robbins, Michael P. Fischbein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: IL-16 promotes the recruitment of various cells expressing CD4, a receptor for IL-16. The precise role of IL-16 in transplant rejection remains unknown; therefore, the present study investigated the contribution of IL-16 to the development of chronic rejection in heart transplants. Methods: C-H-2 bm12KhEg (H-2 bm12) donor hearts were transplanted into (1) IL-16-deficient (IL-16 -/-) C57BL/6J or (b) wild type (WT) control recipients (MHC class II mismatch). Grafts were harvested at 52 days, parenchymal rejection was assessed by the ISHLT grading system, and CAV was examined morphometrically. Graft infiltrating cells were detected 10 and 52 days after transplantation. Intragraft cytokine and chemokine profiles were assessed. To confirm the role of IL-16 in CAV development, C-H-2 bm12KhEg (H-2 bm12) donor hearts were transplanted into C57BL/6J WT recipients treated with (1) anti-IL-16-neutralization monoclonal antibody or (b) control immunoglobulin G. Grafts were harvested at 52 days, and CAV was quantified morphometrically. Graft-infiltrating cells were examined histologically. Results: Parenchymal rejection and CAV was significantly attenuated in donor hearts transplanted into IL-16 -/- recipient mice compared with WT controls. Donor hearts transplanted into IL-16 -/- recipients had a significant reduction in coronary artery luminal occlusion, intima-to-media ratio, and percentage of diseased vessels. CAV was associated with decreased donor organ inflammation, as well as donor organ cytokine (IL-1β and IL-6) and chemokine (MCP-1 and KC) protein expression. Intimal proliferation and inflammatory cell infiltration were significantly reduced in hearts transplanted into recipients treated with an IL-16-neutralization antibody. Conclusions: IL-16-deficiency reduced graft inflammatory cell recruitment, and allograft inflammatory cytokine and chemokine production. Therefore, IL-16 neutralization may provide a potential target for novel therapeutic treatment for cardiac allograft rejection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1409-1417
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • animal model
  • chronic rejection
  • cytokines
  • heart transplantation
  • immunology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation


Dive into the research topics of 'Interleukin-16 deficiency suppresses the development of chronic rejection in murine cardiac transplantation model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this