Diagnosis and management of antibody-mediated rejection: current status and novel approaches.
ABSTRACT: Advances in multimodal immunotherapy have significantly reduced acute rejection rates and substantially improved 1-year graft survival following renal transplantation. However, long-term (10-year) survival rates have stagnated over the past decade. Recent studies indicate that antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) is among the most important barriers to improving long-term outcomes. Improved understanding of the roles of acute and chronic ABMR has evolved in recent years following major progress in the technical ability to detect and quantify recipient anti-HLA antibody production. Additionally, new knowledge of the immunobiology of B cells and plasma cells that pertains to allograft rejection and tolerance has emerged. Still, questions regarding the classification of ABMR, the precision of diagnostic approaches, and the efficacy of various strategies for managing affected patients abound. This review article provides an overview of current thinking and research surrounding the pathophysiology and diagnosis of ABMR, ABMR-related outcomes, ABMR prevention and treatment, as well as possible future directions in treatment.
Project description:Kidney allograft rejection can occur in clinically stable patients, but long-term significance is unknown. We determined whether early recognition of subclinical rejection has long-term consequences for kidney allograft survival in an observational prospective cohort study of 1307 consecutive nonselected patients who underwent ABO-compatible, complement-dependent cytotoxicity-negative crossmatch kidney transplantation in Paris (2000-2010). Participants underwent prospective screening biopsies at 1 year post-transplant, with concurrent evaluations of graft complement deposition and circulating anti-HLA antibodies. The main analysis included 1001 patients. Three distinct groups of patients were identified at the 1-year screening: 727 (73%) patients without rejection, 132 (13%) patients with subclinical T cell-mediated rejection (TCMR), and 142 (14%) patients with subclinical antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR). Patients with subclinical ABMR had the poorest graft survival at 8 years post-transplant (56%) compared with subclinical TCMR (88%) and nonrejection (90%) groups (P<0.001). In a multivariate Cox model, subclinical ABMR at 1 year was independently associated with a 3.5-fold increase in graft loss (95% confidence interval, 2.1 to 5.7) along with eGFR and proteinuria (P<0.001). Subclinical ABMR was associated with more rapid progression to transplant glomerulopathy. Of patients with subclinical TCMR at 1 year, only those who further developed de novo donor-specific antibodies and transplant glomerulopathy showed higher risk of graft loss compared with patients without rejection. Our findings suggest that subclinical TCMR and subclinical ABMR have distinct effects on long-term graft loss. Subclinical ABMR detected at the 1-year screening biopsy carries a prognostic value independent of initial donor-specific antibody status, previous immunologic events, current eGFR, and proteinuria.
Project description:Increasing evidence accumulates on the central involvement of microRNAs (miRNAs) in disease pathophysiology. We identified distinctly deregulated miRNAs in human renal allograft biopsies from patients undergoing acute cellular rejection, antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR), and delayed graft function (DGF).Sixty-five posttransplantation kidney biopsy samples covering 41 cases with acute rejection (15 vascular rejection, 15 interstitial rejection, and 11 ABMR), 14 DGF cases, and 10 protocol biopsies serving as controls were analyzed using the Affymetrix GeneChip miRNA Array. Differentially regulated miRNAs were identified by Student's t test and Bonferroni correction. Target genes for the set of miRNAs were retrieved from miRTarBase (experimentally verified targets) as well as by applying the target prediction routines DIANAmT, miRanda, and Targetscan.Patients with acute cellular rejection, ABMR, and DGF discriminate from the control group (protocol biopsies) in unsupervised clustering of miRNA profiles, clearly identifying deregulated miRNAs in rejection and DGF. Angiogenesis, apoptosis, and transforming growth factor-? signaling were identified as relevant pathways in ischemic response following an integrative analysis of miRNA targets and mRNA expression profiles. Inflammation by chemokine and cytokine signaling, T-cell activation, and B-cell activation were identified as relevant in acute rejection accordingly.These data suggest that distinct miRNA signatures playing a role in specific biological pathways discriminate acute cellular and humoral rejection and DGF. This finding serves as valuable tool for a rational selection of diagnostic, prognostic, and potentially therapeutic molecular targets of posttransplantation events.
Project description:The prevalent renal transplant population presents an opportunity to observe the adaptive changes in the alloimmune response over time, but such studies have been limited by uncertainties in the conventional biopsy diagnosis of T cell-mediated rejection (TCMR) and antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR). To circumvent these limitations, we used microarrays and conventional methods to investigate rejection in 703 unselected biopsies taken 3 days to 35 years post-transplant from North American and European centers. Using conventional methods, we diagnosed rejection in 205 biopsy specimens (28%): 67 pure TCMR, 110 pure ABMR, and 28 mixed (89 designated borderline). Using microarrays, we diagnosed rejection in 228 biopsy specimens (32%): 76 pure TCMR, 124 pure ABMR, and 28 mixed (no borderline). Molecular assessment confirmed most conventional diagnoses (agreement was 90% for TCMR and 83% for ABMR) but revealed some errors, particularly in mixed rejection, and improved prediction of failure. ABMR was strongly associated with increased graft loss, but TCMR was not. ABMR became common in biopsy specimens obtained >1 year post-transplant and continued to appear in all subsequent intervals. TCMR was common early but progressively disappeared over time. In 108 biopsy specimens obtained 10.2-35 years post-transplant, TCMR defined by molecular and conventional features was never observed. We conclude that the main cause of kidney transplant failure is ABMR, which can present even decades after transplantation. In contrast, TCMR disappears by 10 years post-transplant, implying that a state of partial adaptive tolerance emerges over time in the kidney transplant population.
Project description:The aim of this study was to determine how the Banff antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) classification for kidney transplantation is interpreted in practice and affects therapy. The Banff Antibody-Mediated Injury Workgroup electronically surveyed clinicians and pathologists worldwide regarding diagnosis and treatment for 6 case-based scenarios. The participants' (95 clinicians and 72 renal pathologists) assigned diagnoses were compared to the Banff intended diagnoses (reference standard). The assigned diagnoses and reference standard differed by 26.1% (SD 28.1%) for pathologists and 34.5% (SD 23.3%) for clinicians. The greatest discordance between the reference standard and clinicians' diagnosis was when histologic features of ABMR were present but donor-specific antibody was undetected (49.4% [43/87]). For pathologists, the greatest discordance was in the case of acute/active ABMR C4d staining negative in a positive crossmatch transplant recipient (33.8% [23/68]). Treatment approaches were heterogeneous but linked to the assigned diagnosis. When acute/active ABMR was diagnosed by the clinician, treatment was recommended 95.3% (SD 18.4%) of the time vs only 77.7% (SD 39.2%) of the time when chronic active ABMR was diagnosed (P < .0001). In conclusion, the Banff ABMR classification is vulnerable to misinterpretation, which potentially has patient management implications. Continued efforts are needed to improve the understanding and standardized application of ABMR classification in the transplant community.
Project description:Histologic analysis of the allograft biopsy specimen is the standard method used to differentiate rejection from other injury in kidney transplants. Donor-derived cell-free DNA (dd-cfDNA) is a noninvasive test of allograft injury that may enable more frequent, quantitative, and safer assessment of allograft rejection and injury status. To investigate this possibility, we prospectively collected blood specimens at scheduled intervals and at the time of clinically indicated biopsies. In 102 kidney recipients, we measured plasma levels of dd-cfDNA and correlated the levels with allograft rejection status ascertained by histology in 107 biopsy specimens. The dd-cfDNA level discriminated between biopsy specimens showing any rejection (T cell-mediated rejection or antibody-mediated rejection [ABMR]) and controls (no rejection histologically), P<0.001 (receiver operating characteristic area under the curve [AUC], 0.74; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.61 to 0.86). Positive and negative predictive values for active rejection at a cutoff of 1.0% dd-cfDNA were 61% and 84%, respectively. The AUC for discriminating ABMR from samples without ABMR was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.75 to 0.97). Positive and negative predictive values for ABMR at a cutoff of 1.0% dd-cfDNA were 44% and 96%, respectively. Median dd-cfDNA was 2.9% (ABMR), 1.2% (T cell-mediated types ?IB), 0.2% (T cell-mediated type IA), and 0.3% in controls (P=0.05 for T cell-mediated rejection types ?IB versus controls). Thus, dd-cfDNA may be used to assess allograft rejection and injury; dd-cfDNA levels <1% reflect the absence of active rejection (T cell-mediated type ?IB or ABMR) and levels >1% indicate a probability of active rejection.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Immunohistochemical staining for C4d in peritubular capillaries has been part of antibody-mediated rejection (AbMR) definition in the Banff Classification for Allograft Pathology since 2003. However, it has limited sensitivity and specificity, therefore the clinical significance of C4d-positive biopsies without evidence of rejection (C4d+ WER) is unknown. We investigated the transcript levels of genes associated with AbMR in C4d+ WER biopsies from both ABO-compatible and incompatible renal transplant patients.<h4>Methods</h4>RNA was extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded renal transplant biopsies (<i>n</i> = 125) and gene expression analysis of 35 AbMR-associated transcripts carried out using the NanoString nCounter system.<h4>Results</h4>AbMR-associated transcripts were significantly increased in samples with AbMR or suspicious AbMR. A subgroup of 17 of 35 transcripts that best distinguished AbMR from C4d-negative biopsies without evidence of rejection was used to study C4d+ WER samples. There was no differential expression between C4d-negative and C4d+ WER from both ABO-incompatible and -compatible transplants. The geometric mean of 17 differentially expressed genes was used to assign the C4d+ WER biopsies a high- or low-AbMR transcript score. Follow-up biopsies showed AbMR within 1 year of initial biopsy in 5 of 7 high-AbMR transcript patients but only 2 of 46 low-AbMR transcript patients. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, elevated transcript levels in a C4d+ WER biopsy were associated with increased odds for biopsy-proven AbMR on follow-up (<i>P</i> = 0.032, odds ratio 16.318), whereas factors including donor-specific antibody (DSA) status and time since transplantation were not.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Gene expression analysis in C4d+ WER samples has the potential to identify patients at higher risk of developing AbMR.
Project description:Late antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) is a cardinal cause of kidney allograft failure, manifesting as a continuous and, in contrast with early rejection, often clinically silent alloimmune process. While significant progress has been made towards an improved understanding of its molecular mechanisms and the definition of diagnostic criteria, there is still no approved effective treatment. In recent small randomized controlled trials, therapeutic strategies with promising results in observational studies, such as proteasome inhibitor bortezomib, anti-C5 antibody eculizumab, or high dose intravenous immunoglobulin plus rituximab, had no significant impact in late and/or chronic ABMR. Such disappointing results reinforce a need of new innovative treatment strategies. Potential candidates may be the interference with interleukin-6 to modulate B cell alloimmunity, or innovative compounds that specifically target antibody-producing plasma cells, such as antibodies against CD38. Given the phenotypic heterogeneity of ABMR, the design of adequate systematic trials to assess the safety and efficiency of such therapies, however, is challenging. Several trials are currently being conducted, and new developments will hopefully provide us with effective ways to counteract the deleterious impact of antibody-mediated graft injury. Meanwhile, the weight of evidence would suggest that, when approaching using existing treatments for established antibody-mediated rejection, "less may be more".
Project description:Late antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) is a leading cause of kidney allograft failure. Uncontrolled studies have suggested efficacy of the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib, but no systematic trial has been undertaken to support its use in ABMR. In this randomized, placebo-controlled trial (the Bortezomib in Late Antibody-Mediated Kidney Transplant Rejection [BORTEJECT] Trial), we investigated whether two cycles of bortezomib (each cycle: 1.3 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1, 4, 8, and 11) prevent GFR decline by halting the progression of late donor-specific antibody (DSA)-positive ABMR. Forty-four DSA-positive kidney transplant recipients with characteristic ABMR morphology (median time after transplant, 5.0 years; pretransplant DSA documented in 19 recipients), who were identified on cross-sectional screening of 741 patients, were randomly assigned to receive bortezomib (n=21) or placebo (n=23). The 0.5-ml/min per 1.73 m2 per year (95% confidence interval, -4.8 to 5.8) difference detected between bortezomib and placebo in eGFR slope (primary end point) was not significant (P=0.86). We detected no significant differences between bortezomib- and placebo-treated groups in median measured GFR at 24 months (33 versus 42 ml/min per 1.73 m2; P=0.31), 2-year graft survival (81% versus 96%; P=0.12), urinary protein concentration, DSA levels, or morphologic or molecular rejection phenotypes in 24-month follow-up biopsy specimens. Bortezomib, however, associated with gastrointestinal and hematologic toxicity. In conclusion, our trial failed to show that bortezomib prevents GFR loss, improves histologic or molecular disease features, or reduces DSA, despite significant toxicity. Our results reinforce the need for systematic trials to dissect the efficiency and safety of new treatments for late ABMR.
Project description:The XIII Banff meeting, held in conjunction the Canadian Society of Transplantation in Vancouver, Canada, reviewed the clinical impact of updates of C4d-negative antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) from the 2013 meeting, reports from active Banff Working Groups, the relationships of donor-specific antibody tests (anti-HLA and non-HLA) with transplant histopathology, and questions of molecular transplant diagnostics. The use of transcriptome gene sets, their resultant diagnostic classifiers, or common key genes to supplement the diagnosis and classification of rejection requires further consensus agreement and validation in biopsies. Newly introduced concepts include the i-IFTA score, comprising inflammation within areas of fibrosis and atrophy and acceptance of transplant arteriolopathy within the descriptions of chronic active T cell-mediated rejection (TCMR) or chronic ABMR. The pattern of mixed TCMR and ABMR was increasingly recognized. This report also includes improved definitions of TCMR and ABMR in pancreas transplants with specification of vascular lesions and prospects for defining a vascularized composite allograft rejection classification. The goal of the Banff process is ongoing integration of advances in histologic, serologic, and molecular diagnostic techniques to produce a consensus-based reporting system that offers precise composite scores, accurate routine diagnostics, and applicability to next-generation clinical trials.
Project description:Antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) is a leading cause of allograft loss. Treatment efficacy depends on accurate diagnosis at an early stage. However, sensitive and reliable markers of antibody-endothelium interaction during ABMR are not available for routine use. Using immunohistochemistry, we retrospectively studied the diagnostic value of three markers of endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT), fascin1, vimentin, and heat shock protein 47, for ABMR in 53 renal transplant biopsy specimens, including 20 ABMR specimens, 24 cell-mediated rejection specimens, and nine normal grafts. We validated our results in an independent set of 74 unselected biopsy specimens. Endothelial cells of the peritubular capillaries in grafts with ABMR expressed fascin1, vimentin, and heat shock protein 47 strongly, whereas those from normal renal grafts did not. The level of EndMT marker expression was significantly associated with current ABMR criteria, including capillaritis, glomerulitis, peritubular capillary C4d deposition, and donor-specific antibodies. These markers allowed us to identify C4d-negative ABMR and to predict late occurrence of disease. EndMT markers were more specific than capillaritis for the diagnosis and prognosis of ABMR and predicted late (up to 4 years after biopsy) renal graft dysfunction and proteinuria. In the independent set of 74 renal graft biopsy specimens, the EndMT markers for the diagnosis of ABMR had a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 85%. Fascin1 expression in peritubular capillaries was also induced in a rat model of ABMR. In conclusion, EndMT markers are a sensitive and reliable diagnostic tool for detecting endothelial activation during ABMR and predicting late loss of allograft function.