ABSTRACT: Tolerance induction to prevent allograft rejection is a long-standing clinical goal. However, convincing and dependable tolerance identification remains elusive. Hypothesizing that intragraft RNA expression is informative in both rejection and tolerance, we profile intrarenal allograft RNA expression in a mixed chimerism renal allograft model of cynomolgus monkeys and identify biologically significant tolerance. Analysis of 67 genes identified 3 dominant factors, each with a different pattern of gene expressions, relating to T cell-mediated rejection (TCMR), chronic antibody-mediated rejection (CAMR), or Tolerance. Clustering these 3 factors created 9 groups. One of the 9 clustered groups, the Tolerance cluster, showed the lowest probability of terminal rejection, the longest duration of allograft survival, and the lowest relative risk of terminal rejection. The Tolerance factor consists of a novel set of gene expressions including cytokine and immunoregulatory genes adding mechanistic insights into tolerance. The Tolerance factor could not be identified within current pathologic diagnostic categories. The TCMR and CAMR factors are dominant to the Tolerance factor, causing rejection even if the Tolerance factor is present. These 3 factors determine the probability of terminal rejection or tolerance. This novel a posteriori approach permits identification of pathways of rejection, including tolerance.
Project description:RNA transcript expression estimates are a promising method to study the mechanisms and classification of renal allograft rejections. Here we use the Nanostring platform to profile RNA expression in renal allografts in a nonhuman primate (NHP), the Cynomolgus monkey. We analyzed protocol and indication 278 archival renal allograft samples, both protocol and indication from 76 animals with diagnoses of chronic antibody-mediated rejection (CAMR), acute cellular rejection (TCMR), and MIXED (both CAMR and TCMR), plus normals and samples with no pathological rejection using a Cynomolgus-specific probe set of 67 genes. Analysis identified RNA expression heterogeneity of endothelial and NK genes within CAMR and TCMR, including the stages of CAMR. Three factors were partitioned into additional groups. One group with the longest allograft survival time is pure CAMR without NK or CD3. Three mixed groups show variation in NK and CD3. TCMR was split into 2 groups with variation in NK genes. Additional validation of the complete gene-set correlated many of the genes with diagnoses of CAMR, MIXED, and TCMR rejections and with Banff histologic criteria defined in human subjects. These NHP data demonstrate the utility of RNA expression profiling to identify additional heterogeneity of endothelial and NK RNA gene expressions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although induction of durable mixed chimerism is required for murine skin allograft tolerance (TOL), renal allograft TOL has been achieved after induction of only transient mixed chimerism in nonhuman primates (NHPs) and humans. To better define the level/duration of chimerism required for stable renal allograft TOL, we retrospectively analyzed these parameters and compared them with transplant outcomes in NHP combined kidney and bone marrow transplant recipients. METHODS:Peripheral blood levels and duration of myeloid or lymphoid chimerism were retrospectively analyzed in 34 NHP combined kidney and bone marrow transplantation recipients which were divided into 3 groups: TOL, n = 10; chronic antibody-mediated rejection (CAMR), n = 12; and T cell-mediated rejection (TCMR), n = 12. RESULTS:All 4 of the recipients that failed to develop any chimerism lost their allografts due to TCMR after discontinuation of immunosuppression (56 ± 3 d). Among 30 recipients who successfully developed multilineage chimerism, 10 achieved long-term immunosuppression-free survival without rejection (1258 ± 388 d), 12 eventually developed CAMR (932 ± 155 d), and 8 developed TCMR (82 ± 10 d). The maximum level but not duration of lymphoid chimerism was significantly higher in TOL recipients compared with both CAMR (P = 0.0159) and TCMR (P = 0.0074). On the other hand, the maximum myeloid chimerism was significantly higher in TOL than in TCMR (P = 0.0469), but not in CAMR. Receiver operating characteristic analyses revealed that lymphoid chimerism levels of 3.1% or greater could reliably predict long-term immunosuppression-free renal allograft survival (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS:This retrospective study confirmed that induction of chimerism is essential for long-term immunosuppression-free survival, which best correlates with lymphoid chimerism levels higher than 3.1%.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Renal allograft tolerance (TOL) has been successfully induced in nonhuman primates (NHPs) and humans through the induction of transient mixed chimerism. To elucidate the mechanisms of TOL, we compared local immunologic responses in renal allografts with those in T-cell-mediated rejection (TCMR) and chronic antibody-mediated rejection (CAMR) in NHPs. METHODS:Using the NanoString nCounter platform, we retrospectively studied 52 mRNAs in 256 kidney allograft samples taken from NHP kidney recipients of donor BMT. No immunosuppression was given after 1-month post-donor BMT. Recipients who achieved TOL (n?=?13) survived for >1840 ± 1724 days with normal kidney function, while recipients with CAMR (n?=?13) survived for 899 ± 550 days with compromised graft function, and recipients with TCMR (n?=?15) achieved only short-term survival (132 ± 69 days). RESULTS:The most prominent difference between the groups was FOXP3, which was significantly higher in TOL than in CAMR and TCMR, both early (<1 y, P?<?0.01) and late (?1 y, P?<?0.05) after transplant. Other mRNAs related to regulatory T cells (Treg), such as IL10, TGFB, and GATA3, were also high in TOL. In contrast, transcripts of inflammatory cytokines were higher in TCMR, while activated endothelium-associated transcripts were higher in CAMR than in TOL. The receiver operating characteristic analyses revealed that intragraft FOXP3 and CAV1 can reliably distinguish TOL from CAMR. CONCLUSIONS:High FOXP3 and other Treg-related mRNAs together with suppressed inflammatory responses and endothelial activation in renal allografts suggest that intragraft enrichment of Treg is a critical mechanism of renal allograft TOL induced by transient mixed chimerism.
Project description:Animal studies have suggested a potential role for regulatory T cells (Tregs) in allograft tolerance, but these FOXP3+ cells seem to be an inherent component of acute rejection (AR) in human recipients of renal transplants. The balance between regulatory cells and effector/cytotoxic cells may determine graft outcome; this balance has not been described for chronic allograft injury. We investigated the expression of key regulatory, effector, and cytotoxic transcripts (i.e., FOXP3, T-bet, and granzyme B, respectively) in the grafts and peripheral blood of long-term-surviving renal transplant patients. We found that, whereas neither intragraft nor peripheral blood FOXP3 or T-bet mRNA could distinguish between rejection and nonrejection status, granzyme B (GrzB) mRNA could: It was significantly increased in the graft and significantly decreased in the peripheral blood of patients with chronic antibody-mediated rejection (CAMR). Quantifying peripheral blood GrzB mRNA demonstrated potential to aid in the noninvasive diagnosis of CAMR. In summary, these data affirm GrzB as a marker not only for AR but also for CAMR. In addition, we identified several previously unreported clinical or demographic factors influencing regulatory/effector/cytotoxic profiles in the peripheral blood, highlighting the necessity to consider confounding variables when considering the use of potential biomarkers, such as FOXP3, for diagnosis or prognosis in kidney transplantation.
Project description:Both antibody mediated (AMR) and T-cell mediated (TCMR) rejections either acute or chronic represent the main reason for late graft dysfunction. In this study we aimed to evaluate differences in the intrarenal expression patterns of immune system related genes in acute and chronic rejections. Graft biopsies were performed and evaluated according to Banff classification. Using the TaqMan Low Density Array, the intrarenal expressions of 376 genes relating to immune response (B-cell activation, T-cell activation, chemokines, growth factors, immune regulators, and apoptosis) were analyzed in the four rejection categories: chronic AMR, chronic TCMR, acute AMR, and acute TCMR. The set of genes significantly upregulated in acute TCMR as compared to acute AMR was identified, while no difference in gene expressions between chronic rejections groups was found. In comparison with functioning grafts, grafts that failed within the next 24 months after the chronic rejection morphological confirmation presented at biopsy already established severe graft injury (low eGFR, higher proteinuria), longer followup, higher expression of CDC20, CXCL6, DIABLO, GABRP, KIAA0101, ME2, MMP7, NFATC4, and TGFB3 mRNA, and lower expression of CCL19 and TRADD mRNA. In conclusion, both Banff 2007 chronic rejection categories did not differ in intrarenal expression of 376 selected genes associated with immune response.
Project description:The presence of B-cell clusters in allogenic T cell-mediated rejection (TCMR) of kidney allografts is linked to more severe disease entities. In this study we characterized B-cell infiltrates in patients with TCMR and examined the role of serum CXCL-13 in these patients and experimentally. CXCL-13 serum levels were analyzed in 73 kidney allograft recipients at the time of allograft biopsy. In addition, four patients were evaluated for CXCL13 levels during the first week after transplantation. ELISA was done to measure CXCL-13 serum levels. For further mechanistic understanding, a translational allogenic kidney transplant (ktx) mouse model for TCMR was studied in BalbC recipients of fully mismatched transplants with C57BL/6 donor kidneys. CXCL-13 serum levels were measured longitudinally, CD20 and CD3 composition and CXCL13 mRNA in tissue were examined by flow cytometry and kidneys were examined by histology and immunohistochemistry. We found significantly higher serum levels of the B-cell chemoattractant CXCL13 in patients with TCMR compared to controls and patients with borderline TCMR. Moreover, in patients with acute rejection within the first week after ktx, a >5-fold CXCL13 increase was measured and correlated with B-cell infiltrates in the biopsies. In line with the clinical findings, TCMR in mice correlated with increased systemic serum-CXCL13 levels. Moreover, renal allografts had significantly higher CXCL13 mRNA expression than isogenic controls and showed interstitial CD20+ B-cell clusters and CD3+ cell infiltrates accumulating in the vicinity of renal vessels. CXCL13 blood levels correlate with B-cell involvement in TCMR and might help to identify patients at risk of a more severe clinical course of rejection.
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:Rejection affects greater than 80% of face transplants, yet no diagnostic criteria for antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) following face transplantation have been established. Given that different treatment strategies are required to address AMR and T cell-mediated rejection (TCMR), there is a critical need to delineate the features that can differentiate these two alloimmune responses. Here, we report the longitudinal immunological examination of what we believe to be the first and only highly sensitized recipient of a crossmatch-positive face transplant up to 4 years following transplantation. We conducted gene expression profiling on allograft biopsies collected during suspected AMR and TCMR episodes as well as during 5 nonrejection time points. Our data suggest that there are distinctive molecular features in AMR, characterized by overexpression of endothelial-associated genes, including ICAM1, VCAM1, and SELE. Although our findings are limited to a single patient, these findings highlight the potential importance of developing and implementing molecular markers to differentiate AMR from TCMR to guide clinical management. Furthermore, our case illustrates that molecular assessment of allograft biopsies offers the potential for new insights into the mechanisms underlying rejection. Finally, our medium-term outcomes demonstrate that face transplantation in a highly sensitized patient with a positive preoperative crossmatch is feasible and manageable.
Project description:Interstitial fibrosis/tubular atrophy (IFTA) is associated with reduced allograft survival, whereas antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) is the major cause for renal allograft failure. To identify specific microRNAs and their regulation involved in these processes, total RNA from blood cells of 16 kidney transplanted (KTx) patients with ABMR, stable graft function (SGF) and with T-cell mediated rejection (TCMR) was isolated. MicroRNA expression was determined by high-throughput sequencing. Differentially expressed candidate microRNAs were analyzed with RT-PCR in patients with SGF (n = 53), urinary tract infection (UTI) (n = 17), borderline rejection (BL) (n = 19), TCMR (n = 40), ABMR (n = 22) and IFTA (n = 30). From the 301 detected microRNAs, 64 were significantly regulated between the three cohorts. Selected candidate microRNAs miR-223-3p, miR-424-3p and miR-145-5p distinguished TCMR and ABMR from SGF, but not from other pathologies. Most importantly, miR-145-5p expression in IFTA patients was significantly downregulated and displayed a high diagnostic accuracy compared to SGF alone (AUC = 0.891) and compared to SGF, UTI, BL, TCMR and ABMR patients combined (AUC = 0.835), which was verified by cross-validation. The identification of miR-145-5p as IFTA specific marker in blood constitutes the basis for evaluating this potentially diagnostic microRNA as biomarker in studies including high numbers of patients and different pathologies and also the further analysis of fibrosis causing etiologies after kidney transplantation.
Project description:Polyomavirus nephropathy (PVAN) is a common cause of kidney allograft dysfunction and loss. To identify PVAN-specific gene expression and underlying molecular mechanisms, we analyzed kidney biopsies with and without PVAN.The study included 168 posttransplant renal allograft biopsies (T cell-mediated rejection [TCMR] = 26, PVAN = 10, normal functioning graft = 73, and interstitial fibrosis/tubular atrophy = 59) from 168 unique kidney allograft recipients. We performed gene expression assays and bioinformatics analysis to identify a set of PVAN-specific genes. Validity and relevance of a subset of these genes are validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry.Unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis of all the biopsies revealed high similarity between PVAN and TCMR gene expression. Increased statistical stringency identified 158 and 252 unique PVAN and TCMR injury-specific gene transcripts respectively. Although TCMR-specific genes were overwhelmingly involved in immune response costimulation and TCR signaling, PVAN-specific genes were mainly related to DNA replication process, RNA polymerase assembly, and pathogen recognition receptors. A principal component analysis (PCA) using these genes further confirmed the most optimal separation between the 3 different clinical phenotypes. Validation of 4 PVAN-specific genes (RPS15, complement factor D, lactotransferrin, and nitric oxide synthase interacting protein) by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and confirmation by immunohistochemistry of 2 PVAN-specific proteins with antiviral function (lactotransferrin and IFN-inducible transmembrane 1) was done.In conclusion, even though PVAN and TCMR kidney allografts share great similarities on gene perturbation, PVAN-specific genes were identified with well-known antiviral properties that provide tools for discerning PVAN and AR as well as attractive targets for rational drug design.