T Cell CEACAM1-TIM-3 Crosstalk Alleviates Liver Transplant Injury in Mice and Humans


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BACKGROUND & AIMS: Carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CC1) acts through homophilic and heterophilic interactions with T cell immunoglobulin domain and mucin domain-containing protein 3 (TIM-3), which regulates innate immune activation in orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). We investigated whether cluster of differentiation (CD) 4 thorn T cell-dependent CC1-TIM-3 crosstalk may affect OLT outcomes in mice and humans. METHODS: Wild-type (WT) and CC1-deficient (CC1 knock-out [KO]) mouse livers were transplanted into WT, CC1KO, or T-cell TIM-3 transgenic (TIM-3Tg)/CC1KO double-mutant recipients. CD4 thorn T cells were adoptively transferred into T/B cell-deficient recombination activating gene 2 protein (Rag2) KO recipients, followed by OLT. The perioperative liver associated CC1 increase was analyzed in 50 OLT patients. RESULTS: OLT injury in WT livers deteriorated in CC1KO compared with CC1-proficient (WT) recipients. The frequency of TIM-3 thorn CD4 thorn T cells was higher in WT than CC1KO hosts. Reconstitution of Rag2KO mice with CC1KO-T cells increased nuclear factor (NF) -KB phosphorylation and OLT damage compared with recipients repopulated with WT T cells. T-cellTIM-3 enhancement in CC1KO recipients (WT TIM3Tg/ CC1KO) suppressed NF -KB phosphorylation in Kupffer cells and mitigated OLT injury. However, TIM-3-mediated protection was lost by pharmacologic TIM-3 blockade or an absence of CC1 in the donor liver (CC1KO TIM-3Tg/CC1KO). The perioperative CC1 increase in human OLT reduced hepatocellular injury, early allograft dysfunction, and the cumulative rejection rate. CONCLUSIONS: This translational study identifies T cell-specific CC1 signaling as a therapeutic means to alleviate OLT injury by promoting T cell-intrinsic TIM-3, which in turn interacts with liver-associated CC1 to suppress NF -KB in Kupffer cells. By suppressing peritransplant liver damage, promoting T-cell homeostasis, and improving OLT outcomes, recipient CC1 signaling serves as a novel cytoprotective sentinel.
T Cells, CEACAM1, T Cell Immunoglobulin Domain and Mucin Domain-Protein 3 (TIM-3), NF-KB, Liver Transplantation
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