DataSheet_1_Circulating Donor-Specific Anti-HLA Antibodies Associate With Immune Activation Independent of Kidney Transplant Histopathological Finding.docx (4.33 MB)

DataSheet_1_Circulating Donor-Specific Anti-HLA Antibodies Associate With Immune Activation Independent of Kidney Transplant Histopathological Findings.docx

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posted on 23.02.2022, 04:10 authored by Elisabet Van Loon, Baptiste Lamarthée, Thomas Barba, Sandra Claes, Maarten Coemans, Henriette de Loor, Marie-Paule Emonds, Priyanka Koshy, Dirk Kuypers, Paul Proost, Aleksandar Senev, Ben Sprangers, Claire Tinel, Olivier Thaunat, Amaryllis H. Van Craenenbroeck, Dominique Schols, Maarten Naesens

Despite the critical role of cytokines in allograft rejection, the relation of peripheral blood cytokine profiles to clinical kidney transplant rejection has not been fully elucidated. We assessed 28 cytokines through multiplex assay in 293 blood samples from kidney transplant recipients at time of graft dysfunction. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering identified a subset of patients with increased pro-inflammatory cytokine levels. This patient subset was hallmarked by a high prevalence (75%) of donor-specific anti-human leukocyte antigen antibodies (HLA-DSA) and histological rejection (70%) and had worse graft survival compared to the group with low cytokine levels (HLA-DSA in 1.7% and rejection in 33.7%). Thirty percent of patients with high pro-inflammatory cytokine levels and HLA-DSA did not have histological rejection. Exploring the cellular origin of these cytokines, we found a corresponding expression in endothelial cells, monocytes, and natural killer cells in single-cell RNASeq data from kidney transplant biopsies. Finally, we confirmed secretion of these cytokines in HLA-DSA-mediated cross talk between endothelial cells, NK cells, and monocytes. In conclusion, blood pro-inflammatory cytokines are increased in kidney transplant patients with HLA-DSA, even in the absence of histology of rejection. These observations challenge the concept that histology is the gold standard for identification of ongoing allo-immune activation after transplantation.

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