Evidence that humoral allograft rejection in lung transplant patients is not histocompatibility antigen-related
Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous
We have recently recognized humoral rejection (HR) in lung allograft recipients and its association with acute and chronic graft dysfunction. We have shown that C4d, a stable marker of classic complement activation, is deposited in lung allografts, correlating with clinical rejection and parenchymal injury. The antigenic target may be endothelium in the setting of recurrent acute rejection while varying components of the bronchial wall may be important in chronic graft dysfunction. We sought to establish whether there is a role for antibodies with histocompatibility antigen specificity in the lung humoral allograft phenomenon. Flow cytometric and ELISA assays to assess donor-specific antigens were conducted on sera from 25 lung transplant recipients who had experienced one or more episodes of clinical rejection; in addition, the serum samples were tested for evidence of antiendothelial cell antibody activity. Morphologically, each case had biopsies showing septal capillary injury with significant deposits of immunoreactants with microvascular localization and positive indirect immunofluorescent antiendothelial cell antibody assay. Panel-reactive antibody testing showed absence of MHC Class I/II alloantibodies; ELISA based crossmatch detecting donor-specific MHC Class I/II specific antibodies was negative. HR can occur in the absence of antibodies with HLA specificity; antigenic targets may be of endothelial cell origin.