Acute rejection episodes are commonly observed in heart transplant patients. This phenomen is mediated by an immune response against the allograft, including the activation of lymphoid cells following the recognition of Class I, Class II and non-MHC foreign antigens. T-cell activation is associated with a number of molecular modifications which, in vivo, include the expression and release of the p55 chain of the interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R). In this study we investigated the pattern of serum levels of the soluble form of IL-2R (sIL-2R) in 52 patients submitted to orthotopic cardiac transplant in order to reveal any correlations with the occurrence and degree of rejection episodes. For this purpose, and using an immunoenzymatic method, we measured the serum concentration of sIL-2R in samples taken before transplant and at regular intervals after the transplant. The results showed that sIL-2R values are significantly increased early after transplant as compared to pre-transplant levels (1197 ± 330 vs 596 ± 256; p <0.01), with a subsequent progressive decrease during the following weeks. The pattern of increase was not related to the presence or absence of acute rejection. On the contrary, sIL-2R levels seem to be related, to some extent, to the type of prophylactic immune suppression (ALG vs ATG). We conclude that sIL-2R does not seem to be a useful marker to monitor or predict rejection occurrence. However, it might have some usefulness in evaluating the effectiveness of pharmacological immune suppression.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 1990|
- acute rejection
- heart transplant
ASJC Scopus subject areas