Liver transplatation-induced antihistone H1 autoantibodies suppress mixed lymphocyte reaction

Toshiaki Nakano, Seiji Kawamoto*, Chia Yun Lai, Tetsuya Sasaki, Tsunehiro Aki, Seiko Shigeta, Takeshi Goto, Shuji Sato, Shigeru Goto, Chao Long Chen, Kazuhisa Ono

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background. In a rat model of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT), recipient serum after OLT (post-OLT serum) has been reported to prevent allograft rejection. However, the molecular identities of immunosuppressive factors, which are in the early stage of post-OLT, remain elusive. This study was aimed to identify immunodominant suppressive factors present in early post-OLT serum. Methods. The immunosuppressive activities of post-OLT serum, immunoglobulin (Ig) G-depleted serum, and purified IgG were evaluated in vitro by inhibition of the mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR). Autoantigens recognized by the MLR-inhibitory IgG in early post-OLT serum were identified by the internal protein sequencing. Results. Recipient post-OLT serum inhibited MLR, and its immunosuppressive activity vanished by means of the elimination of OLT-inducible IgG. IgG from post-OLT sera (2-3 weeks) specifically reacted to 31-,34-,and 73-kDa autoantigens on splenic cells. The internal sequences of the doublet 31- and 34-kDa antigens coincided completely with those of histone H1 molecules. The levels of histone H1-specific antibodies were transiently increased to a plateau around 2 to 3 weeks after OLT but decreased in the later tolerogenic phase. Immunodepletion of antihistone H1 autoantibodies from early post-OLT serum abolished the MLR-inhibitory activity. Furthermore, rabbit polyclonal antibody-directed histone H1 not only suppressed MLR but also prolonged allograft survival. Conclusions. In this article, the authors provide evidence that autoreactive antibodies against histone H1, which are transiently induced at the early stage by liver transplantation, are a major OLT-induced graft survival factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1595-1603
Number of pages9
Issue number10
StatePublished - 27 05 2004
Externally publishedYes


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