Post-transplant Donor-specific Antibody Production and Graft Outcome in Kidney Transplantation: Results of Sixteen-year Monitoring by Flow Cytometry.
Piazza A, Poggi E, Ozzella G, Borrelli L, Scornajenghi A, Iaria G, Tisone G, Adorno D.
Clinical Transplants 2006, Chapter 23
Our data show that monitoring by sensitive flow cytometric techniques of the de novo production of anti-HLA antibodies in patients receiving kidney transplantation is a useful and noninvasive tool to identify the onset of an immune response towards the graft before any clinical manifestation of antibody-mediated graft injury. Consequently prospective posttransplant monitoring of anti-HLA donor-directed antibodies may offer the chance to realize an effective clinical intervention in order to prevent graft dysfunction and to prolong graft survival. The long follow-up period of the study allowed us to demonstrate a very low graft survival rate in patients who developed donor-specific HLA antibodies in comparison with patients who did not have antibodies, thus confirming the \humoral theory of transplantation\". The posttransplant production of anti-HLA antibodies can predict not only graft failure but also chronic dysfunction of the graft. Moreover our findings suggest that graft survival is influenced by the epitope- and locus-specificity of anti-HLA donor-directed antibodies. The interval between antibody appearance and loss of graft function was short in some patients but reached several years in others. Moreover some patients showed consistent production of antibodies for many years and an uneventful clinical status. These findings suggest a mechanism of graft \"accommodation\" or the production of \"harmless\" antibodies. Immunosuppressive drug combinations able to inhibit T and B cell activation are useful tools to prevent the humoral immune response against graft and consequently to prolong graft survival."