Saturday, June 29, 2013

Costs of Second Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

imageBackground: A second allogeneic transplantation after a prior allogeneic (allo-allo) or autologous (auto-allo) hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is usually performed for graft failure, disease recurrence, secondary malignancy, and, as planned, auto-allo transplantation for some diseases.
Methods: We sought to describe the costs of second allogeneic HCT and evaluate their relationship with patient characteristics and posttransplantation complications. Clinical information and medical costs for the first 100 days after transplantation of 245 patients (allo-allo, 55; auto-allo, 190) who underwent a second HCT between 2004 and 2010 were collected.
Results: Median costs of the second allogeneic HCT were U.S. $151,000 (range, U.S. $62,000–405,000) for the allo-allo group and U.S. $109,000 (range, U.S. $26,000–490,000) for the auto-allo group. Median length of hospital stay was 23 days (range, 0–76) for the allo-allo group and 9 days (range, 0–96) for the auto-allo group. Only the year of transplantation and posttransplantation complications were significantly associated with costs in both groups when both pre- and posttransplantation variables were considered. The overall costs of the second HCT were higher than the first in the allo-allo group. For the auto-allo group, there was no difference between the costs whether preformed as a planned tandem or as salvage for relapse.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that second allogeneic HCT is costly, particularly if it follows a prior allogeneic transplantation, and is driven by the costs of complications (read more)

Harmful Effect of Preformed Anti-MICA Antibodies on Renal Allograft Evolution in Early Posttransplantation Period

imageBackground: Pretransplantation anti–major histocompatibility complex class I chain–related molecule A (MICA) sensitization is an uncommon event and its role on kidney graft evolution is not completely defined.
Methods: A retrospective study of patients transplanted between 2005 and 2011 in our center (n=727) was performed. Recipients were classified in four groups, according either to multiplexed flow cytometry–recorded anti-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and anti-MICA antibodies or to percent panel-reactive antibody (PRA; by complement-dependent cytotoxicity) and anti-MICA antibodies.
Results: In the total cohort, 52 (7.15%) patients had preformed anti-MICA antibodies, and these were not related with anti-HLA, previous transplantations, or recipient female sex (potential pregnancies). Kaplan–Meier curves showed global allograft survival differences (P=0.042) mostly due to pronounced decrease in PRA+MICA+ group early after transplantation. Biopsy-proven allograft rejection rate increased after month 12 in PRA+MICA- group and was higher early after transplantation in PRA+MICA+ group (P=0.033). In paired comparisons, rejection incidence was superior in PRA+MICA- versus PRA-MICA- patients (17% vs. 7%; P=0.007) at 24 months, confirming the widely reported deleterious effect of PRA+ status, but at 3 months rejection was higher in PRA+MICA+ versus PRA-MICA- patients (14% vs. 2%; P=0.009). Among patients categorized according anti-HLA and anti-MICA antibodies, the most striking difference in rejection was observed at 3 months (8% in HLA-MICA+ vs. 2% in HLA-MICA- patients; P=0.032). In the multivariate analysis, HLA-MICA+ status at 3 months independently conferred the highest risk for rejection (odds ratio, 5.07; P=0.049).
Conclusions: Pretransplantation sensitization against MICA and HLA are independent events. Preformed anti-MICA antibodies independently increase risk for kidney rejection and enhance the deleterious effect of PRA+ status early after transplantation (read more)

Early Versus Late Acute Antibody-Mediated Rejection in Renal Transplant Recipients

imageBackground: Over the last decade, the diagnostic precision for acute antibody-mediated rejection (aABMR) in kidney transplant recipients has improved significantly. The phenotypes of early and late aABMR may differ. We assessed the characteristics and outcomes of early versus late aABMR.
Methods: Between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2010, aABMR was diagnosed in 67 grafts in 65 kidney recipients, with a median follow-up of 3.6 years (range, 61 days–7.3 years). Recipients were stratified by early aABMR (<3 months after transplantation; n=40) and late aABMR (>3 months after transplantation; n=27). The main outcome was kidney allograft loss. Outcome of aABMR was compared with recipients with acute early (n=276) or late (n=100) non-ABMR during the same period.
Results: Recipients with late aABMR had significantly reduced graft survival compared with recipients with early aABMR (P<0.001, log-rank test; 40% vs. 75% at 4 years; hazard ratio, 3.72; 95% confidence interval, 1.65–8.42). Graft survival in late aABMR was also inferior to late non-ABMR acute rejections (P=0.008). At transplantation, more patients were presensitized to human leukocyte antigens (22 [55%] vs. 4 [15%] in the early vs. late aABMR group). The late aABMR group was characterized by younger recipient age (37.9±12.9 vs. 50.9±11.6 years; P<0.001), increased occurrence of de novo donor-specific antibodies (52% vs. 13%; P=0.001), and nonadherence/suboptimal immunosuppression (56% vs. 0%; P<0.001).
Conclusion: Compared with early aABMR, late aABMR had inferior graft survival and was characterized by young age, frequent nonadherence, or suboptimal immunosuppression and de novo donor-specific antibodies (read more)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Human iPS cell-derived hematopoietic progenitor cells induce T-cell anergy in in vitro-generated alloreactive CD8+ T cells

Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have emerged as an alternative source of pluripotent stem cells that can be used for tissue regeneration in place of the controversial human embryonic stem cells. However, immunologic knowledge about iPSC derivatives remains enigmatic. Here, we characterized human iPS-derived CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs). These HPCs poorly express major histocompatibility complex (MHC) I antigens and are MHC-II negative. Interestingly, they moderately express nonclassical HLA-G and HLA-E molecules. Consequently, alloreactive HLA-A2–specific cytotoxic T cells failed to recognize HLA-A2–expressing HPCs but became anergic. Subsequent upregulation of MHC-I using interferon- stimulation and provision of CD28 cosignaling led to T-cell activation, confirming that poor delivery of signals 1 and 2 by the HPCs mediated T-cell anergy. These data indicate for the first time that HPCs induce T-cell anergy, a unique characteristic of iPSC-derived cells that confers immunologic advantage for allogenic transplantation. Although iPSCs are ideal for patient-tailored treatments with the anticipation that no immunosuppression will be required, in cases of gene defects, their derivatives could be used to treat diseases in nonhistocompatible recipients (read more)

Cancer Risk After ABO-Incompatible Living-Donor Kidney Transplantation.

BACKGROUND: Recipients of ABO-incompatible (ABOi) living-donor kidney transplants often undergo more intense immunosuppression than their ABO-compatible counterparts. It is unknown if this difference leads to higher cancer risk after transplantation. Single-center studies are too small and lack adequate duration of follow-up to answer this question.
METHODS: We identified 318 ABOi recipients in the Transplant Cancer Match Study, a national linkage between the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients and population-based U.S. cancer registries. Seven cancers (non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, gastric adenocarcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, thyroid cancer, pancreatic cancer, and testicular cancer) were identified among ABOi recipients. We then matched ABOi recipients to ABO-compatible controls by age, gender, race, human leukocyte antigen mismatch, retransplantation, and transplant year.
RESULTS: There was no demonstrable association between ABOi and cancer in unadjusted (incidence rate ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.33-1.71; P=0.3) or matched control (incidence rate ratio, 0.99; 95% confidence interval, 0.38-2.23; P=0.5) analyses.
CONCLUSION: To the extent that could be determined in this registry study, current desensitization protocols are not associated with increased risk of cancer after transplantation (read more)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Quantification, Identification, and Relevance of Anti–Human Leukocyte Antigen Antibodies Formed in Association With the Berlin Heart Ventricular Assist Device in Children

imageBackground: Ventricular assist devices (VADs) are increasingly being used in pediatric patients to provide long-term cardiac support. One potential complication of VAD therapy is the development of antibodies directed against human leukocyte antigens (HLA). This phenomenon has not been well described with the Berlin Heart EXCOR VAD, the most commonly used VAD in pediatric patients.
Methods: The records of all pediatric patients undergoing VAD support using the Berlin Heart device at our institution between April 2005 and August 2011 were reviewed retrospectively. Demographic and clinical data regarding the VAD course were collected. Assessment of anti-HLA antibodies was performed using Luminex, and antibodies were quantified using mean fluorescence intensity (MFI). Assessment for anti-HLA antibodies was performed before VAD implantation and in serial fashion after VAD implantation. Clinically significant anti-HLA antibodies (sensitization) were defined by an MFI of more than 1000.
Results: Thirty-six patients were supported with the Berlin Heart VAD; 13 met inclusion criteria. The majority (85%) carried the diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy. Evidence of sensitization pre-VAD was found in 69%; new-onset sensitization (the development of new antibodies on VAD) occurred in 69%. All patients survived to transplantation. In two patients, the retrospective crossmatch was positive, but only in one patient was the crossmatch positive for antibodies formed while on VAD.
Conclusions: Using Luminex and MFI quantification, anti-HLA antibodies are common before VAD implantation in pediatric patients. While on VAD support, new anti-HLA antibodies formed in a majority, but the immediate impact of these antibodies appears to be limited (read more)

HLA Antibody-Incompatible Kidney Transplantation Between Jehovah's Witnesses-A Case Report.

Desensitization before HLA antibody-incompatible (HLAi) transplantation involves nonspecific apheresis of HLA antibodies. Clotting factors and albumin are also removed and have to be replaced. This makes transplantation difficult because it increases the risk of bleeding. Such risk is further compounded when certain blood products are refused on religious grounds. We present a case of successful HLAi transplantation in a Jehovah's Witness across a positive-flow cytometric HLA crossmatch from a live donor who was also a Jehovah's Witness. This was achieved by giving rituximab 1 month before transplantation and starting prednisolone, tacrolimus, and mycophenolate mofetil 10 days before surgery. In preparation, the patient also underwent 4 sessions of double-filtration plasma exchange each followed by low-dose intravenous immunoglobulin. The night before transplantation, the fibrinogen was low, requiring 2 pools of cryoprecipitate. The organ was retrieved through laparoscopic hand-assisted retroperitoneoscopic nephrectomy and transplanted into the recipient with no complications. In addition, the patient received basiliximab during surgery. Sixteen months after transplantation the serum creatinine was 70 μmol/L (0.79 mg/dL) and there were no rejection episodes. To our knowledge this is the world's first live-related kidney transplant across the HLAi barrier between 2 Jehovah's Witnesses. This case may allow further HLAi transplants to be carried out in Jehovah's Witnesses in the future around the world (read more)

Analysis of Anti-HLA Antibodies in Sensitized Kidney Transplant Candidates Subjected to Desensitization with Intravenous Immunoglobulin and Rituximab.

BACKGROUND: Preexisting donor-specific antibodies against human leukocyte antigens are major risk factors for acute antibody-mediated and chronic rejection of kidney transplant grafts. Immunomodulation (desensitization) protocols may reduce antibody concentration and improve the success of transplant. We investigated the effect of desensitization with intravenous immunoglobulin and rituximab on the antibody profile in highly sensitized kidney transplant candidates. METHODS: In 31 transplant candidates (calculated panel-reactive antibody [cPRA], 34%-99%), desensitization included intravenous immunoglobulin on days 0 and 30 and a single dose of rituximab on day 15. Anti-human leukocyte antigen antibodies were analyzed before and after desensitization. RESULTS: Reduction of cPRA from 25% to 50% was noted for anti-class I (5 patients, within 20-60 days) and anti-class II (3 patients, within 10-20 days) antibodies. After initial reduction of cPRA, the cPRA increased within 120 days. In 24 patients, decrease in mean fluorescence intensity of antibodies by more than 50% was noted at follow-up, but there was no reduction of cPRA. Rebound occurred in 65% patients for anti-class I antibodies at 350 days and anti-class II antibodies at 101 to 200 days. Probability of rebound effect was higher in patients with mean fluorescence intensity of more than 10,700 before desensitization, anti-class II antibodies, and history of previous transplant. CONCLUSIONS: The desensitization protocol had limited efficacy in highly sensitized kidney transplant candidate because of the short period with antibody reduction and high frequency of rebound effect (read more)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Renal transplantation from hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive donors to HBsAg-negative recipients: a case of post-transplant fulminant hepatitis associated with an extensively mutated hepatitis B virus strain and review of the current literature

Purpose : The purpose of this study was to present a fatal case of fulminant hepatitis B (FHB) that developed in a renal transplant recipient, immunized against hepatitis B, 1 year post transplantation.
Methods : Polymerase chain reaction amplification and full genome sequencing were performed to investigate whether specific mutations were associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission and FHB.
Results : Molecular analysis revealed multiple mutations in various open reading frames of HBV, the most important being the G145R escape mutation and a frameshift mutation–insertion (1838insA) within the pre-C/C reading frame.
Conclusions : Our results highlight the possibility of developing FHB, despite previous immunization against HBV or administration of hyperimmune gammaglobulin, because of the selection of escape virus mutants. The current literature and guidelines regarding renal transplantation from hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive to HBsAg-negative patients were also reviewed (read more)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Increased Metallothionein Expression Reflects Steroid Resistance in Renal Allograft Recipients

Steroid-refractory acute rejection is a risk factor for inferior renal allograft outcome. We aimed to gain insight into the mechanisms underlying steroid resistance by identifying novel molecular markers of steroid-refractory acute rejection. Eighty-three kidney transplant recipients (1995–2005), who were treated with methylprednisolone during a first acute rejection episode, were included in this study. Gene expression patterns were investigated in a discovery cohort of 36 acute rejection biopsies, and verified in a validation cohort of 47 acute rejection biopsies. In the discovery set, expression of metallothioneins (MT) was significantly (p < 0.000001) associated with decreased response to steroid treatment. Multivariate analysis resulted in a predictive model containing MT-1 as an independent covariate (AUC = 0.88, p < 0.0000001). In the validation set, MT-1 expression was also significantly associated with steroid resistance (p = 0.029). Metallothionein expression was detected in macrophages and tubular epithelial cells. Parallel to the findings in patients, in vitro experiments of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 11 donors showed that nonresponse to methylprednisolone treatment is related to highly elevated MT levels. High expression of metallothioneins in renal allografts is associated with resistance to steroid treatment. Metallothioneins regulate intracellular concentrations of zinc, through which they may diminish the zinc-requiring anti-inflammatory effect of the glucocorticoid receptor (read more)

Comprehensive Assessment and Standardization of Solid Phase Multiplex-Bead Arrays for the Detection of Antibodies to HLA

Solid phase multiplex-bead arrays for the detection and characterization of HLA antibodies provide increased sensitivity and specificity compared to conventional lymphocyte-based assays. Assay variability due to inconsistencies in commercial kits and differences in standard operating procedures (SOP) hamper comparison of results between laboratories. The Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation Antibody Core Laboratories investigated sources of assay variation and determined if reproducibility improved through utilization of SOP, common reagents and normalization algorithms. Ten commercial kits from two manufacturers were assessed in each of seven laboratories using 20 HLA reference sera. Implementation of a standardized (vs. a nonstandardized) operating procedure greatly reduced MFI variation from 62% to 25%. Although laboratory agreements exceeded 90% (R2), small systematic differences were observed suggesting center specific factors still contribute to variation. MFI varied according to manufacturer, kit, bead type and lot. ROC analyses showed excellent consistency in antibody assignments between manufacturers (AUC > 0.9) and suggested optimal cutoffs from 1000 to 1500 MFI. Global normalization further reduced MFI variation to levels near 20%. Standardization and normalization of solid phase HLA antibody tests will enable comparison of data across laboratories for clinical trials and diagnostic testing (read more)

Cross-Validation of IFN-γ Elispot Assay for Measuring Alloreactive Memory/Effector T Cell Responses in Renal Transplant Recipients

Assessment of donor-specific alloreactive memory/effector T cell responses using an IFN-γ Elispot assay has been suggested to be a novel immune-monitoring tool for evaluating the cellular immune risk in renal transplantation. Here, we report the cross-validation data of the IFN-γ Elispot assay performed within different European laboratories taking part of the EU RISET consortium. For this purpose, development of a standard operating procedure (SOP), comparisons of lectures of IFN-γ plates assessing intra- and interlaboratory assay variability of allogeneic or peptide stimuli in both healthy and kidney transplant individuals have been the main objectives. We show that the use of a same SOP and count-settings of the Elispot bioreader allow low coefficient variation between laboratories. Frozen and shipped samples display slightly lower detectable IFN-γ frequencies than fresh samples. Importantly, a close correlation between different laboratories is obtained when measuring high frequencies of antigen-specific primed/memory T cell alloresponses. Interestingly, significant high donor-specific alloreactive T cell responses can be similarly detected among different laboratories in kidney transplant patients displaying histological patterns of acute T cell mediated rejection. In conclusion, assessment of circulating alloreactive memory/effector T cells using an INF-γ Elispot assay can be accurately achieved using the same SOP, Elispot bioreader and experienced technicians in kidney transplantation (read more)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A quick guide to HLA and transplantation (thanks to Wikipedia)

Today's gift is an excerpt from : all pages detailing HLA alleles and basic transplant immunology.
Download now free pdf manual (42 MB) (it may take some minutes to render the up-to-download-date content : if you are on a hurry and feel satisfied with the version generated on Jun 13 2013, please download here)

Regulatory Dendritic Cell Infusion Prolongs Kidney Allograft Survival in Nonhuman Primates

We examined the influence of regulatory dendritic cells (DCreg), generated from cytokine-mobilized donor blood monocytes in vitamin D3 and IL-10, on renal allograft survival in a clinically relevant rhesus macaque model. DCreg expressed low MHC class II and costimulatory molecules, but comparatively high levels of programmed death ligand-1 (B7-H1), and were resistant to pro-inflammatory cytokine-induced maturation. They were infused intravenously (3.5–10 × 106/kg), together with the B7-CD28 costimulation blocking agent CTLA4Ig, 7 days before renal transplantation. CTLA4Ig was given for up to 8 weeks and rapamycin, started on Day −2, was maintained with tapering of blood levels until full withdrawal at 6 months. Median graft survival time was 39.5 days in control monkeys (no DC infusion; n = 6) and 113.5 days (p < 0.05) in DCreg-treated animals (n = 6). No adverse events were associated with DCreg infusion, and there was no evidence of induction of host sensitization based on circulating donor-specific alloantibody levels. Immunologic monitoring also revealed regulation of donor-reactive memory CD95+ T cells and reduced memory/regulatory T cell ratios in DCreg-treated monkeys compared with controls. Termination allograft histology showed moderate combined T cell- and Ab-mediated rejection in both groups. These findings justify further preclinical evaluation of DCreg therapy and their therapeutic potential in organ transplantation (read more)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cryptic B Cell Response to Renal Transplantation

Transplantation reliably evokes allo-specific B cell and T cell responses in mice. Yet, human recipients of kidney transplants with normal function usually exhibit little or no antibody specific for the transplant donor during the early weeks and months after transplantation. Indeed, the absence of antidonor antibodies is taken to reflect effective immunosuppressive therapy and to predict a favorable outcome. Whether the absence of donor-specific antibodies reflects absence of a B cell response to the donor, tolerance to the donor or immunity masked by binding of donor-specific antibodies to the graft is not known. To distinguish between these possibilities, we devised a novel ELISPOT, using cultured donor, recipient and third-party fibroblasts as targets. We enumerated donor-specific antibody-secreting cells in the blood of nine renal allograft recipients with normal kidney function before and after transplantation. Although none of the nine subjects had detectable donor-specific antibodies before or after transplantation, all exhibited increases in the frequency of donor-specific antibody-secreting cells eight weeks after transplantation. The responses were directed against the donor HLA-class I antigens. The increase in frequency of donor-specific antibody-secreting cells after renal transplantation indicates that B cells respond specifically to the transplant donor more often than previously thought (read more)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Diabetes-Free Survival in Patients Who Underwent Islet Autotransplantation After 50% to 60% Distal Partial Pancreatectomy for Benign Pancreatic Tumors

imageBackground: Several retrospective studies with short-term follow-up have demonstrated a low rate of new-onset diabetes after distal pancreatectomy for benign pancreatic tumors. We sought to determine the long-term diabetes-free survival of patients who underwent islet autotransplantation (IAT) after distal pancreatectomy and to identify any associations between the isolation parameters of autologous islets and diabetes-free survival.
Methods: Among the 37 nondiabetic patients who underwent 50% to 60% partial pancreatectomy, 20 underwent IAT (IAT group; median follow-up period, 61 months). In the IAT group, diabetes-free survival was determined based on annual oral glucose tolerance tests, fasting blood glucose, and hemoglobin A1C.
Results: The 7-year diabetes-free survival rate was 51% in the IAT group (median follow-up period, 61 months) and 45% in the 37 study subjects. Diabetes-free survival was significantly prolonged when islet yield per gram of pancreas weight was more than 5154 islet equivalents (IEQ)/g, even in patients with prediabetes and high insulin resistance who had a markedly high rate of diabetes development. The proportion of patients with impaired glucose tolerance at 2 years after distal pancreatectomy was 12 of 16 in the control group, 6 of 7 in patients with islet yields of less than 5154 IEQ/g, and 3 of 11 in patients with islet yields of more than 5154 IEQ/g (P=0.019).
Conclusions: Partial (50%–60%) pancreatectomy for benign pancreatic tumors had a major metabolic consequence, especially in patients with prediabetes and high insulin resistance. In this setting, prolonged diabetes-free survival was observed in patients who underwent IAT when a high islet yield per gram of pancreas was achieved (read more)

Beneficial Effects of Pretransplantation Microchimerism on Rejection-Free Survival in HLA-Haploidentical Family Donor Renal Transplantation

imageBackground: Fetal-maternal microchimerism (MC) can develop during pregnancy and may persist for decades. Pretransplantation fetal-maternal MC may be present between mother and child and between siblings; however, its effect on renal transplantation is not known. We investigated the effects of pretransplantation MC on allograft outcomes in human leukocyte antigen (HLA)–haploidentical family donor transplantation.
Methods: A total of 106 cases transplanted from 1996 to 2004 were retrospectively studied, with median follow-up of 96 months. The study and control groups included 63 and 43 cases of HLA-haploidentical and HLA-identical donor transplantations, respectively. MC against mismatched donor HLA-DRB1 allele was detected in the recipient’s peripheral blood using nested polymerase chain reaction–single-strand conformation polymorphism method. The allograft outcomes of HLA-haploidentical MC (+) and (–) subgroups were compared with those of HLA-identical group.
Results: Pretransplantation MC in the HLA-haploidentical recipients was detected in 22.2% (14 of 63). Compared with HLA-identical group, MC (–) subgroup showed significantly inferior allograft outcomes: higher acute rejection rate (11.6% vs. 42.9%; P=0.001), higher 5-year serum creatinine level (1.1 vs. 1.4 mg/dL; P=0.009), and lower 10-year rejection-free survival rate (83.7% vs. 54.5%; log-rank P=0.001). In contrast, MC (+) subgroup showed no significant differences from HLA-identical group in acute rejection rate (14.3%), 5-year serum creatinine level (1.1 mg/dL), and 10-year rejection-free survival rate (85.7%). Multivariate analysis revealed that pretransplantation MC is associated with a significantly lower risk of acute rejection (odds ratio=0.10; P=0.021).
Conclusion: Pretransplantation MC present in the recipient may have beneficial effects on rejection-free allograft survival in renal transplantation (read more)

Proteasome Inhibition Profoundly Affects Activated Human B Cells

imageBackground: Proteasome inhibitors, although initially developed for the treatment of malignancies, have been found to affect normal plasma cells by efficaciously inducing apoptosis. One proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib, has been used in transplantation settings to deplete human leukocyte antigen antibody-producing plasma cells to reverse humoral allograft rejection.
Methods: To establish whether proteasome inhibitors are active on B cells, being plasma cell precursors, we examined a set of four proteasome inhibitors, including bortezomib, carfilzomib, ONX 0912, and ONX 0914, for their potential to impact the functionalities of activated B cells in vitro.
Results: All proteasome inhibitors dose-dependently abrogated IgM and IgG production by activated B cells, as well as their proliferation, with varying efficiencies. The bortezomib-induced decline in immunoglobulin production was mainly due to a decrease in the number of B cells capable of immunoglobulin secretion, caused by apoptosis.
Conclusions: The action of proteasome inhibitors is not confined to plasma cells but also has impact on activated naïve and memory B cells (read more)

CMV Infection in the Donor and Increased Kidney Graft Loss: Impact of Full HLA-I Mismatch and Posttransplantation CD8+ Cell Reduction

Despite a large body of literature, the impact of chronic cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in donor on long-term graft survival remains unclear, and factors modulating the effect of CMV infection on graft survival are presently unknown. In this retrospective study of 1279 kidney transplant patients, we analyzed long-term graft survival and evolution of CD8+ cell population in donors and recipients by CMV serology and antigenemia status. A positive CMV serology in the donor was an independent risk factor for graft loss, especially among CMV-positive recipients (R+). Antigenemia was not a risk factor for graft loss and kidneys from CMV-positive donors remained associated with poor graft survival among antigenemia-free recipients. Detrimental impact of donor's CMV seropositivity on graft survival was restricted to patients with full HLA-I mismatch, suggesting a role of CD8+ cells. In R+ patients with positive CMV antigenemia during the first year, CD8+ cell count did not increase at 2 years posttransplantation, in contrast to R recipients. In addition, marked CD8+-cell decrease was a risk factor of graft failure in these patients. This study identifies HLA-I full mismatch and a decrease of CD8+ cell count at 2 years as important determinants of CMV-associated graft loss (read more)

Prediction of kidney graft failure using clinical scoring tools

Background : Donor organ quality is a key determinant of graft function, and considerable efforts have been made to identify donor and transplant factors predicting inferior outcomes. This has resulted in the development of various scoring tools to aid in allocation of kidneys.
Methods : The performance of four donor quality scoring systems in predicting delayed graft function, and death-censored graft failure was examined in a single-center cohort of 730 consecutive deceased donor kidneys transplanted between 1990 and 2004. The predictive accuracy of the variables was analyzed with receiver operating characteristic curves and graft survival distribution.
Results : The three outcome tools, that is, deceased donor score (DDS; Am J Transplant, 3, 2003, 715), donor risk score (DRS; Am J Transplant, 5, 2005, 757) and kidney donor risk index (KDRI; Transplantation, 88, 2009, 231) provided a significant and equivalent prediction of graft failure by using variables available at time of transplantation (p < 0.01). The risk of delayed graft function was predicted by the (DGF) nomogram (J Am Soc Nephrol, 14, 2003, 2967; Am J Transplant 10, 2010, 2279) with a high degree of discrimination (concordance index of 0.69, p < 0.01).
Conclusions : Our findings validate four pre-operative clinical scoring tools to predict early and late graft outcome in an independent, single-center set of kidney transplants (read more)