Immune reactions following systemic immunization prior or subsequent to intrastriatal transplantation of allogeneic mesencephalic tissue in adult rats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We have previously found that dissociated mesencephalic tissue, which differs from the host at both major histocompatibility complex and non-major histocompatibility complex gene loci, can survive stereotaxic transplantation to the striatum of adult rats. We have now studied the outcome of intrastriatal neural allografts in rats that were systemically immunized by an orthotopic skin allograft either prior or subsequent to intracerebral implantation surgery. Dissociated mesencephalic tissue from Lewis rat embryos was stereotaxically injected into the dopamine-depleted striatum of hemi-parkinsonian Sprague-Dawley rats. One group was immunized by an orthotopic allogeneic skin graft of the same genetic origin as the neural graft, six weeks before the neural transplantation (the pre-immunized group). Another group was post-immunized by an orthotopic skin allograft, six weeks after the neural transplantation (the post-immunized group). A control group of rats was not challenged by a skin allograft. Marked behavioural recovery was observed in six of seven rats in the control group, in six of eight rats in the post-immunized group, and in none of the pre-immunized rats. Tyrosine hydroxylase-immunopositive cells were found in rats from the two behaviourally compensated groups, but not in the pre-immunized group. The immune responses were evaluated by OX-18 (monoclonal antibody against major histocompatibility complex class I antigen), OX-6 (major histocompatibility complex class II antigen), OX-42 (microglia and macrophages), glial fibrillary acidic protein (astrocytes), OX-8 (cytotoxic T-lymphocytes) and W3/25 (helper T-lymphocytes) immunocytochemistry. All the neural allografts in the pre-immunized group were rejected, leaving scars only. There were more intense immune responses to the allografts in the post-immunized group than the control group, in terms of immunocytochemically higher expression of major histocompatibility complex class I and II antigens and more intense cellular reactions consisting of macrophages, activated microglia and astrocytes, in addition to CD8- and CD4-positive lymphocytes. In summary, the results show the following: (i) systemic pre-immunization leads to complete rejection of intrastriatal neural allografts, implying that the status of the host immune system before transplantation determines the outcome for intrastriatal neural allografts; (ii) established intrastriatal neural allografts can survive for at least six weeks after systemic immunization, in spite of increased host immune responses in and around the allografts; (iii) there are no marked immune reactions against intrastriatal neural allografts 13 weeks after implantation in rats which have not been systemically immunized by a skin allograft; (iv) pre-immunized rats may provide a very useful animal model to investigate the role of inflammatory lymphokines in immune rejection and to test alternative immunosuppressive drugs.


  • W M Duan
  • H Widner
  • Eva Maria Grasbon-Frodl
  • P Brundin
External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurosciences


  • Animals, Astrocytes, Brain Tissue Transplantation, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Female, Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein, Graft Rejection, Immunization, Immunohistochemistry, Macrophage-1 Antigen, Macrophages, Major Histocompatibility Complex, Microglia, Neostriatum, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Skin Transplantation, Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-41
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Feb
Publication categoryResearch