American journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons

CD4 T Cells but Not Th17 Cells Are Required for Mouse Lung Transplant Obliterative Bronchiolitis.

PMID 25773063


Lung transplant survival is limited by obliterative bronchiolitis (OB), but the mechanisms of OB development are unknown. Previous studies in a mouse model of orthotopic lung transplantation suggested a requirement for IL-17. We have used this orthotopic mouse model to investigate the source of IL-17A and the requirement for T cells producing IL-17A. The major sources of IL-17A were CD4(+) T cells and γδ T cells. Depletion of CD4(+) T cells led to a significantly decreased frequency and number of IL-17A(+) lymphocytes and was sufficient to prevent acute rejection and OB. However, mice with STAT3-deficient T cells, which are unable to differentiate into Th17 cells, rejected lung allografts and developed OB similar to control mice. The frequency of IL-17A(+) cells was not decreased in mice with STAT3-deficient T cells due mainly to the presence of IL-17A(+) γδ T cells. Deficiency of γδ T cells also did not affect the development of airway fibrosis. Our data suggest that CD4(+) T cells are required for OB development and expansion of IL-17A responses in the lung, while Th17 and γδ T cells are not absolutely required and may compensate for each other.