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Prevention of Allogeneic Fetal Rejection by Tryptophan Catabolism

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Science  21 Aug 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5380, pp. 1191-1193
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5380.1191

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Abstract

In 1953 Medawar pointed out that survival of the genetically disparate (allogeneic) mammalian conceptus contradicts the laws of tissue transplantation. Rapid T cell–induced rejection of all allogeneic concepti occurred when pregnant mice were treated with a pharmacologic inhibitor of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), a tryptophan-catabolizing enzyme expressed by trophoblasts and macrophages. Thus, by catabolizing tryptophan, the mammalian conceptus suppresses T cell activity and defends itself against rejection.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mellor{at}immag.mcg.edu

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