Urodele amphibians are unique due to their greatly reduced immune responsiveness compared to bony fishes, which show acute immune responsiveness. In newts, the mean survival time of allogenic skin grafts in the transplantation immunity was 48.8 ± 8.3 days at 25°C, suggesting that it occurs in a chronic manner. The graft rejection process was categorized into three stages: a latent stage with frequent blood circulation, or the immune induction phase; a vascular stoppage stage with dominant infiltrating cells of T cells; and a rejection stage showing the change of the dominant cells to monocytes/macrophages, probably as effector cells, tetntatively referred to as the immune effector phase. The immune induction phase is susceptible to the cyclophosphamide (CY) mitosis inhibitor, but not to a temperature shift from 18 to 27°C, while the immune effector phase is susceptible to temperature shifts, but not CY-treatment, although the temperature shift failed to shorten the graft survival time to less than 25 days, which nearly equals that of the secondary set of grafts where the lack of complete blood circulation is remarkable and graft rejection is resistant to CY-treatment. In contrast, a very low temperature (5–10°C) completely prevented effector generation in newts; in frogs, however, it is reported that such low temperatures did not prevent the generation of effectors. Taken together, these data suggest that chronic responses in newts are due to effector cells other than cytotoxic T cells; possible effector cells are discussed.
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Vol. 28 • No. 7