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Free Content Local Complement C3 Expression is Upregulated in Humoral and Cellular Rejection of Renal Allografts

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Evidence on the role of the complement system in transplantation pathology has been accelerated by the discovery of C4d as an in situ marker of antibody-mediated rejection. However, a local or systemic source of complement expression during acute rejection is under discussion. Thus, we quantitatively analyzed local RNA expression of complement component C3 as a pivotal molecule in active humoral and cellular rejection of renal allografts. After laser microdissection, real-time RT-PCR was performed for C3 using RNA extracted from tubuli and glomeruli of 68 paraffin-embedded renal allograft biopsies. Protocol and indication biopsies with signs of humoral and/or cellular rejection were investigated. Quantitative expression analysis of cytokines (IFN gamma, MCP-1, IL2, IL8) potentially influencing local C3 expression was performed. We observed a significant increase in median expression level of C3 mRNA in tubuli of C4d-positive indication biopsies, and in tubuli from indication biopsies with signs of T-cell-mediated cellular rejection. Highest expression levels were found in C4d-positive indication biopsies with signs of cellular rejection. Biopsies with upregulated C3 showed increased IFN gamma expression, suggesting allograft-infiltrating T-cells as potential stimulus for local C3 expression. Therefore, locally synthesized complement component C3 contributes to both humoral and cellular rejection, with tubular epithelial cells being a major source.
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Keywords: C3; C4d; Complement; renal transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pathology, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Germany 2: Department of Nephrology, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Germany

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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