Donor-specific antibodies to human leukocyte antigens are associated with and precede antibodies to major histocompatibility complex class I-related chain A in antibody-mediated rejection and cardiac allograft vasculopathy after human cardiac transplantation

Dilip S Nath, Nataraju Angaswamy, Haseeb Ilias Basha, Donna Phelan, Nader Moazami, Gregory A Ewald, T Mohanakumar
Human Immunology 2010, 71 (12): 1191-6
Humoral immune responses to mismatched donor human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-related chain A (MICA) have been reported to contribute to immunopathogenesis of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) in the early period and cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) in the late period after cardiac transplantation (HTx). The goal of this study is to define the roles of donor-specific antibodies (DSA) and anti-MICA in AMR and CAV. A total of 95 post-HTx recipients were enrolled; 43 patients in the early period (≤ 12 months post-HTx) and 52 patients in the late period (>12 months post-HTx). Development of DSA and anti-MICA were serially monitored using Luminex. Development of DSA (AMR+: n = 6/8.75%, AMR-: n = 4/35.11%, p = 0.009) and anti-MICA (AMR+: n = 5/8.63%, AMR-: n = 4/35.11%, p = 0.002) was significantly associated with AMR. AMR+DSA+ patients demonstrated increased anti-MICA levels compared with AMR+DSA- patients (p=0.01). Serial monitoring revealed DSA (2.7 ± 1.4 months) preceded development of anti-MICA (6.5 ± 2.1 months) in recipients diagnosed with AMR at 8.3 ± 2.5 months post-HTx. Development of DSA (CAV+: n = 8/12.67%, CAV-: n = 5/40.13%, p = 0.004) and anti-MICA (CAV+: n = 9/12.75%, CAV-: n = 5/40.13%, p = 0.001) was significantly associated with CAV. CAV+DSA+ patients demonstrated increased anti-MICA levels compared with CAV+DSA- patients (p = 0.01). Antibodies to HLA are associated with and precede development of anti-MICA in AMR and CAV. Therefore, DSA and anti-MICA can be used as noninvasive markers for monitoring AMR and CAV.

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