Antibody-Mediated Rejection in Kidney Transplantation Without Evidence of Anti-HLA Antibodies?

Transplantation proceedings

PubMedID: 27932099

Irure J, López-Hoyos M, Rodrigo E, Gómez-Román J, Ruiz JC, Arias M, San Segundo D. Antibody-Mediated Rejection in Kidney Transplantation Without Evidence of Anti-HLA Antibodies?. Transplant Proc. 2016;48(9):2888-2890.
The definition of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) is based on serologic (presence and/or development of donor-specific anti-HLA antibodies [DSAs]) and histologic (C4d deposition and endothelial damage) criteria. However, several cases of AMR have been described without C4d deposition, and other cases of histologic AMR without DSAs, which could be driven by other non-HLA alloantibodies such as anti-MICA or anti-angiotensin II type I receptor (AT1R). Here we studied clinical and histologic humoral rejection in kidney transplant recipients without evidence of anti-HLA antibodies.

Fifteen kidney transplant recipients with AMR defined as C4d(+) and/or histologic g+ptc without anti-HLA antibodies in screening test were studied. Sera at the moment of biopsy and 2 months earlier were studied for anti-HLA antibodies by Luminex, in neat, diluted 1/160, and sera after treatment with dithiothreitol (DTT) and confirmed by single-antigen test. The anti-AT1R was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

A lack of anti-HLA and MICA antibodies was confirmed after anti-HLA screening test in all conditions (neat, diluted, and DTT-treated) and de novo development of AT1R antibodies was ruled out. Nevertheless, after single-antigen test, 3 patients were identified with a weak reaction against class I antigen and another 4 patients against class II antigen. Due to the lack of locus-C typing in the donors, the DSA assignment cannot be confirmed, whereas anti-HLA class II antigens were DSA.

A low sensitivity in the screening of anti-HLA antibody testing was observed. Our results suggest performing single-antigen test in seronegative patients with clinical humoral rejection after screening to confirm the presence of DSA.