Over the past decade, antibody-mediated or humoral rejection in combination with development of de novo donor-specific antibodies (DSA) has been recognized as a distinct and common cause of transplant dysfunction and is responsible for one-third of the failed allografts. Detailed knowledge of the mechanisms that initiate and maintain B-cell driven antidonor reactivity is required to prevent and better treat this antidonor response in organ transplant patients. Over the past few years, it became evident that this response largely depends on the actions of both T follicular helper (Tfh) cells and the controlling counterparts, the T follicular regulatory (Tfr) cells. In this overview paper, we review the latest insights on the functions of circulating (c)Tfh cells, their subsets Tfh1, Tfh2 and Tfh17 cells, IL-21 and Tfr cells in antibody mediated rejection (ABMR). This may offer new insights in the process to reduce de novo DSA secretion resulting in a decline in the incidence of ABMR. In addition, monitoring these cell populations could be helpful for the development of biomarkers identifying patients at risk for ABMR and provide novel therapeutic drug targets to treat ABMR.

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Keywords ABMR, IL-21, rejection, Tfh, Tfh1, Tfh17, Tfh2, Tfr
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/tan.13671, hdl.handle.net/1765/119570
Journal HLA
van Besouw, N.M, Mendoza Rojas, A. (Aleixandra), & Baan, C.C. (2019). The role of follicular T helper cells in the humoral alloimmune response after clinical organ transplantation. HLA. doi:10.1111/tan.13671