Immunoglobulin-G Subclass Antidonor Reactivity in Transplant Recipients
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Outcomes may differ after kidney transplantation compared to combined liver-kidney transplantation. In animal models, distinct patterns of antidonor immunoglobulin (Ig) G subclasses are associated with either rejection or transplant tolerance. Flow cytometry has increased the sensitivity of antidonor immunoglobulin detection. We compared antidonor IgG subclass responses in kidney transplant recipients to those in recipients of liver or multiorgan grafts. In this study of 19 organ (kidney, liver, pancreas) transplantations, recipient serum incubated with donor splenocytes was tested by flow cytometry for the presence of IgM, IgG, or IgG subclass 1-4. Sera before transplantation and 10 days and 100 days after transplantation were used. No differences were seen in antidonor IgM, IgG, or IgG subclass antibodies among recipients of kidney transplants and liver grafts or combination grafts, either before or after transplantation. IgG4 gradually but significantly increased after transplantation in all groups. High levels of antidonor IgG3 either before transplantation or produced after it were found in 3 kidney recipients who experienced acute rejection. No other patients experienced rejection, and no other increase in IgG3 was seen. In conclusion, antidonor IgG subclass profiles may be useful to distinguish populations at risk of rejection but they do not differentiate the immunological response after kidney transplantation from that after liver or combined transplantation. A late rise in antidonor IgG4 is consistent with decreased antidonor reactivity thought to occur late after transplantation.