The Role of Intrapulmonary De Novo Lymphoid Tissue in Obliterative Bronchiolitis after Lung Transplantation
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Chronic rejection after lung transplantation is manifested as obliterative bronchiolitis (OB). The development of de novo lymphoid tissue (lymphoid neogenesis) may contribute to local immune responses in small airways. Compared with normal lungs, the lung tissue of 13 lung transplant recipients who developed OB demonstrated a significantly larger number of small, airway-associated, peripheral node addressin-positive (PNAd(+)) high endothelial venules (HEVs) unique to lymphoid tissue (p < 0.001). HEVs were most abundant in lesions of lymphocytic bronchiolitis and "active" OB infiltrated by lymphocytes compared with those of "inactive" OB. T cells in lymphocytic bronchiolitis and active OB were predominantly of the CD45RO(+)CCR7(-) effector memory phenotype. Similar lymphoid tissue was also observed in the rat lung after intrapulmonary transplantation of allograft trachea (Brown Norway (BN) to Lewis), but not after isograft transplantation. Subsequent orthotopic transplantation of the recipient Lewis lung containing a BN trachea into an F(1) (Lewis x BN) rat demonstrated stable homing of Lewis-derived T cells in the lung and their Ag-specific effector function against the secondary intrapulmonary BN trachea. In conclusion, we found de novo lymphoid tissue in the lung composed of effector memory T cells and HEVs but lacking delineated T cell and B cell zones. This de novo lymphoid tissue may play a critical role in chronic local immune responses after lung transplantation.
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