Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Complement-binding Donor-specific Anti-HLA Antibodies and Risk of Primary Graft Failure in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Detection of donor-specific anti-HLA antibodies (DSA) has been associated with graft rejection in all forms of transplantation. The mechanism by which DSA increase the risk of graft failure remains unclear. We hypothesized that complement-binding DSA are associated with engraftment failure in hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation and analyzed 122 haploidentical transplant recipients tested prospectively for DSA. Retrospective analysis to detect C1q-binding DSA was done on 22 allosensitized recipients. The presence of C1q+DSA was labeled as C1q positive, and the absence of C1q+DSA was labeled as C1q negative. Twenty-two of 122 patients (18%) had DSA, 19 of which were females (86%). Seven patients with DSA (32%) rejected the graft. Median DSA level at transplant for patients who failed to engraft was 10,055 MFI versus 2,065 MFI for those who engrafted (p=0.007). Nine patients with DSA were C1q positive in the initial samples with median DSA level 15,279 MFI (range 1,554-28,615), compared with 7 C1q negative patients with median DSA level 2,471 MFI (665-12,254) (p=0.016). Of 9 patients, who were C1q positive in the initial samples, 5 patients remained C1q positive at time of transplant [all with high DSA levels (median 15,279, range 6,487-22,944)] and experienced engraftment failure, while 4 patients became C1q negative pre-transplant and all engrafted the donor cells (p=0.008). In conclusion, patients with high DSA levels (> 5,000 MFI) and complement-binding DSA antibodies (C1q positive) appear to be at much higher risk of primary graft failure. The presence of C1q+ DSA should be assessed in allosensitized patients prior to hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. Reduction of C1q+DSA levels might prevent engraftment failure in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. (read more)
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