Friday, October 30, 2015

Predicted Indirectly Recognizable HLA Epitopes Presented by HLA-DRB1 Are Related to HLA Antibody Formation During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can prime maternal immune responses against inherited paternal HLA of the fetus, leading to the production of child-specific HLA antibodies. We previously demonstrated that donor-specific HLA antibody formation after kidney transplantation is associated with donor-derived HLA epitopes presented by recipient HLA class II (predicted indirectly recognizable HLA epitopes presented by HLA class II [PIRCHE-II]). In the present study, we evaluated the role of PIRCHE-II in child-specific HLA antibody formation during pregnancy. A total of 229 mother–child pairs were HLA typed. For all mismatched HLA class I molecules of the child, we subsequently predicted the number of HLA epitopes that could be presented by maternal HLA class II molecules. Child-specific antigens were classified as either immunogenic or nonimmunogenic HLA based on the presence of specific antibodies and correlated to PIRCHE-II numbers. Immunogenic HLA contained higher PIRCHE-II numbers than nonimmunogenic HLA. Moreover, the probability of antibody production during pregnancy increased with the number of PIRCHE-II. In conclusion, our data suggest that the number of PIRCHE-II is related to the formation of child-specific HLA antibodies during pregnancy. Present confirmation of the role of PIRCHE-II in antibody formation outside the transplantation setting suggests the PIRCHE-II concept is universal (read more and editorial)