Author(s): Hidalgo LG, Sis B, Sellares J, Campbell PM, Mengel M,
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Abstract To explore the mechanisms of antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) in kidney transplants, we studied the transcripts expressed in clinically indicated biopsies from patients with donor-specific antibody (DSA). Comparison of biopsies from DSA-positive versus DSA-negative patients revealed 132 differentially expressed transcripts: all were associated with class II DSA but none with class I DSA. Many transcripts were expressed in DSA-positive ABMR but were also expressed in T-cell-mediated rejection (TCMR), reflecting shared molecular features. Removal of shared transcripts created 23 DSA selective transcripts (DSASTs). Some DSASTs (6/23) showed selective high expression in NK cells, whereas others (8/23) were expressed in endothelium or in endothelium plus other cell types (7/23). Of 145 biopsies ranked by DSAST expression, the 25 with highest DSAST expression primarily consisted of ABMR (22/25, 88\%), either C4d-positive or C4d-negative. By immunostaining, CD56+ and CD68+ cells in peritubular capillaries, but not CD3+ cells, were increased in ABMR compared to TCMR, compatible with a role for NK cells, as well as macrophages, as effectors in endothelial injury during ABMR. Thus, the strategy of using DSASTs in the biopsy to identify mechanism-related transcripts in biopsies from patients with clinical phenotypes indicates the selective involvement of NK cells in ABMR.
This article was published in Am J Transplant
and referenced in Journal of Transplantation Technologies & Research