GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Publication Date


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Academic Program



Diabetes Division

First Thesis Advisor

Dr. Aldo Rossini


Bone Marrow Transplantation, Hematopoiesis, Immune Tolerance, Skin Transplantation, Transplantation Chimera, Transplantation Immunology, Toll-Like Receptors


Costimulation blockade based on a donor-specific transfusion and anti-CD154 mAb is effective for establishing mixed allogeneic hematopoietic chimerism and inducing transplantation tolerance. Despite its potential, recent evidence suggests that the efficacy of costimulation blockade can be reduced by environmental perturbations such as infection or inflammation that activate toll-like receptors (TLR). TLR agonists prevent costimulation blockade-induced prolongation of solid organ allografts, but their effect on the establishment of hematopoietic chimerism has not been reported.

In this dissertation, we hypothesized that TLR activation during costimulation blockade would prevent the establishment of mixed hematopoietic chimerism and shorten skin allograft survival. To test this hypothesis, costimulation blockade-treated mice were co-injected with TLR2 (Pam3Cys), TLR3 (poly I:C), or TLR4 (LPS) agonists and transplanted with allogeneic bone marrow and skin grafts. Supporting our hypothesis, we observed that TLR agonists administered at the time of costimulation blockade prevented the establishment of mixed hematopoietic chimerism and shortened skin allograft survival.

To investigate underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms, we first determined that LPS administration during costimulation blockade did not increase production of alloantibodies or activate natural killer cells. Similarly, costimulation blockade-treated mice depleted of CD4+ or CD8+ cells did not become chimeric when co-injected with LPS. In contrast, mice depleted of both CD4+ and CD8+cell subsets were resistant to the effects of LPS.

We next observed that alloreactive T cells were activated by TLR agonists in mice treated with costimulation blockade, and this activation correlated with LPS-induced maturation of donor and host alloantigen-presenting cells. In contrast, TLR4-deficient mice treated with costimulation blockade and LPS did not upregulate costimulatory molecules on their APCs, and mixed chimerism and permanent skin allograft survival were readily achieved. We further observed that injection of recombinant IFN-β recapitulated the detrimental effects of LPS, and that LPS-injected mice deficient in the type I IFN receptor were partially protected. Importantly, alloantigen-presenting cells did not upregulate costimulatory molecules in response to LPS, and mixed chimerism and permanent skin allograft survival were readily established in type I IFN receptor and MyD88 double deficient mice treated with costimulation blockade. We conclude that the TLR4 agonist LPS prevents the establishment of mixed hematopoietic chimerism and shortens skin allograft survival in mice treated with costimulation blockade by inducing the production of type 1 IFN and MyD88-dependent factors that upregulate costimulatory molecules on APCs, leading to the generation of activated alloreactive T cells.



Rights and Permissions

Copyright is held by the author, with all rights reserved.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.