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Open Access Posttransplant Cellular Immune Reactivity Against Donor Antigen Correlates With Clinical Islet Transplantation Outcome: Towards a Better Posttransplant Monitoring

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The aim of the present study was to assess the efficiency of cell-based immune assays in the detection of alloreactivity after islet transplantation and to correlate these results with clinical outcome. Mixed lymphocyte cultures were performed with peripheral blood mononuclear cells from recipients (n = 14), donors, or third party. The immune reactivity was assessed by the release of IFN-γ (ELISpot), cell proliferation (FACS analysis for Ki67), and cytokine quantification (Bioplex). Islet function correlated with the number of IFN-γ-secreting cells following incubation with donor cells (p = 0.007, r = -0.50), but not with third party cells (p = 0.61). Similarly, a high number of donor-specific proliferating cells was associated with a low islet function (p = 0.006, r = -0.51). Proliferating cells were mainly CD3+CD4+ lymphocytes and CD3-CD56+ natural killer cells (with low levels of CD3+CD8+ lymphocytes). Patients with low islet function had increased levels of CD4+Ki67+cells (p ≤ 0.0001), while no difference was observed in CD8+Ki67+ and CD56+Ki67+ cells. IFN-γ, IL-5, and IL-17 levels were increased in patients with low islet function, but IL-10 levels tended to be lower. IFN-γ-ELISpot, proliferation, and cytokines were similarly accurate in predicting clinical outcome (AUC = 0.77 ± 0.088, 0.85 ± 0.084, and 0.88 ± 0.074, respectively). Cellular immune reactivity against donor cells correlates with posttransplant islet function. The tested assays have the potential to be of substantial help in the management of islet graft recipients and deserve prospective validation.
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Keywords: Cytokine; Diabetes; ELISpot; Islet; Monitoring; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-11-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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