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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Circulating CXCR3-CCR6-CXCR5 + CD4 + T cells are associated with acute allograft rejection in liver transplantation

Ke Zhang, Yan-Ling Sun, Shuang-Nan Zhou, Ruo-Nan Xu, Zhen-Wen Liu, Fu-Sheng Wang, Ming Shi
Immunology Letters 2019 March 5
30849400
Circulating T follicular helper (cTFH) cells have been demonstrated to be involved in B-cell-mediated alloreactive responses in kidney and liver transplantation; however, whether these cells are involved in acute liver allograft rejection after liver transplantation, and which subsets are involved, remains to be clarified. The present study aimed to investigate the profiles of cTFH cells in acute liver allograft rejection, including the C-X-C motif receptor 3 (CXCR3)+ chemokine receptor 6 (CCR6)- subset, the CXCR3-CCR6- subset, and the CXCR3-CCR6+ subset. Twelve liver transplant patients with acute rejection (AR) and 20 with no acute rejection (NAR) were enrolled in the study. The results showed that the proportion of CXCR3-CCR6-CXCR5+ CD4+ T cells was significantly increased and the proportion of CXCR3-CCR6+ CXCR5+ CD4+ T cells was significantly decreased in patients with AR compared with patients with NAR. In addition, the proportion of CXCR3-CCR6-CXCR5+ CD4+ T cells was positively correlated with the proportion of B cells in patients with AR. The level of serum interleukin (IL)-21 was higher in the AR group than in the NAR groups. Furthermore, the proportion of CXCR3-CCR6-CXCR5+ CD4+ T cells was positively correlated with alanine amino transferase (ALT), whereas the proportion of CXCR3-CCR6+ CXCR5+ CD4+ T cells was negatively correlated with ALT. B cells and TFH cells were detected in follicular-like structures in liver allograft tissues from patients with AR. These results suggest that CXCR3-CCR6-CXCR5+ CD4+ T cells may be involved in acute allograft rejection after liver transplantation.

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