Author(s): Bitetto D, Fabris C, Falleti E, Fornasiere E, Fumolo E,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Vitamin D may act as an immune modulator in experimental and human organ transplantation, but these data are yet to be confirmed in human liver transplantation (LT). AIM: This study aimed to assess the relationship between acute liver allograft cellular rejection (ACR) and pretransplant serum vitamin D concentration or post-transplant vitamin D supplementation. METHOD: We studied 133 LT recipients who underwent two per protocol allograft biopsies in the early post-operative period, plus on-demand biopsies as clinically indicated. ACR estimate was given according to the Banff scheme in biopsies obtained along two follow-up periods: (a) from the transplant operation to the end of the second month (0-2 months); (b) and from the third month to the end of the eighth month (3-8 months) post-LT. RESULTS: The median pretransplant serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration was 12.5 ng/ml; 40 patients had concentrations < or =12.5 ng/ml, of whom six had < or =5.0 ng/ml. Seventy-nine recipients received oral vitamin D(3) supplementation to treat post-transplant osteoporosis. In the 0-2 months period, moderate-to-severe rejection episodes were independently associated with cytomegalovirus reactivation (P<0.005) and progressively lower pretransplant serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations (P<0.02). Early vitamin D(3) supplementation was independently associated with a lack of ACR (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that vitamin D may favour immune tolerance towards the liver allograft.
This article was published in Liver Int
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology