Transgenic expression of CD95 ligand on islet beta cells induces a granulocytic infiltration but does not confer immune privilege upon islet allografts

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 94(8), 3943–3947 (1997) .


Binding of CD95 (Fas/APO-1) by its ligand (CD95L) commonly induces apoptosis. Apoptosis of activated T cells, induced by CD95L expressed in the rodent testis, has been proposed to be the mechanism of immune privilege [Bellgrau, D., Gold, D., Selawry, H., Moore, J., Franzusoff, A. & Duke, R. C. (1995) Nature (London) 377, 630–632]. To test whether CD95L could protect pancreatic islet grafts from rejection, we made transgenic mice expressing murine CD95L on their islet β cells and transplanted fetal pancreata under the kidney capsules of allogeneic animals. Expression of CD95L failed to protect the grafts from rejection. However, transgenic mice developed a granulocytic infiltration in their pancreata. These results demonstrate a pro-inflammatory function of CD95L and suggest that expression of CD95L may not be sufficient to protect organ allografts.

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