Chronic antibody-mediated rejection, a common cause of renal transplant failure, has a variable clinical phenotype. Understanding why some with chronic antibody-mediated rejection progress slowly may help develop more effective therapies. B lymphocytes act as antigen-presenting cells for in vitro indirect antidonor interferon-γ production in chronic antibody-mediated rejection, but many patients retain the ability to regulate these responses. Here we test whether particular patterns of T and B cell antidonor response associate with the variability of graft dysfunction in chronic antibody-mediated rejection. Our results confirm that dynamic changes in indirect antidonor CD4+ T-cell responses correlate with changes in estimated glomerular filtration rates, independent of other factors. Graft dysfunction progressed rapidly in patients who developed unregulated B-cell–driven interferon-γ production. However, conversion to a regulated or nonreactive pattern, which could be achieved by optimization of immunosuppression, associated with stabilization of graft function. Functional regulation by B cells appeared to activate an interleukin-10 autocrine pathway in CD4+ T cells that, in turn, impacted on antigen-specific responses. Thus, our data significantly enhance the understanding of graft dysfunction associated with chronic antibody-mediated rejection and provide the foundation for strategies to prolong renal allograft survival, based on regulation of interferon-γ production.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)