Circulating B Cells With Memory and Antibody-Secreting Phenotypes Are Detectable in Pediatric Kidney Transplant Recipients Before the Development of Antibody-Mediated Rejection

Clara Fischman, Miguel Fribourg, Ginevri Fabrizio, Michela Cioni, Patrizia Comoli, Arcangelo Nocera, Massimo Cardillo, Chiara Cantarelli, Lorenzo Gallon, Astgik Petrosyan, Stefano Da Sacco, Laura Perin, Paolo Cravedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Development of anti-human leukocyte antigen donor-specific antibodies (DSAs) is associated with antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) and reduced allograft survival in kidney transplant recipients. Whether changes in circulating lymphocytes anticipate DSA or AMR development is unclear.

Methods: We used time-of-flight mass cytometry to analyze prospectively collected peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from pediatric kidney transplant recipients who developed DSA (DSA-positive recipients [DSAPOS], n = 10). PBMC were obtained at 2 months posttransplant, 3 months before DSA development, and at DSA detection. PBMC collected at the same time points posttransplant from recipients who did not develop DSA (DSA-negative recipients [DSANEG], n = 11) were used as controls.

Results: DSAPOS and DSANEG recipients had similar baseline characteristics and comparable frequencies of total B and T cells. Within DSAPOS recipients, there was no difference in DSA levels (mean fluorescence intensity [MFI]: 13 687 ± 4159 vs 11 375 ± 1894 in DSAPOSAMR-positive recipients (AMRPOS) vs DSAPOSAMR-negative recipients (AMRNEG), respectively; P = 0.630), C1q binding (5 DSAPOSAMRPOS [100%] vs 4 DSAPOSAMRNEG [80%]; P = 1.000), or C3d binding (3 DSAPOSAMRPOS [60%] vs 1 DSAPOSAMRNEG [20%]; P = 0.520) between patients who developed AMR and those who did not. However, DSAPOS patients who developed AMR (n = 5; 18.0 ± 3.6 mo post-DSA detection) had increased B cells with antibody-secreting (IgD-CD27+CD38+; P = 0.002) and memory (IgD-CD27+CD38-; P = 0.003) phenotypes compared with DSANEG and DSAPOSAMRNEG recipients at DSA detection.

Conclusions: Despite the small sample size, our comprehensive phenotypic analyses show that circulating B cells with memory and antibody-secreting phenotypes are present at DSA onset, >1 year before biopsy-proven AMR in pediatric kidney transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere481
JournalTransplantation Direct
Volume5
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

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