Background. In human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-identical living-related renal transplant recipients, no donor-specific alloreactivity can be detected in regular tests (mixed lymphocyte culture, helper T-lymphocyte precursor frequencies, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte precursor frequencies) to identify patients responding to minor histocompatibility antigens (mHag). We questioned whether a more sensitive method like the Elispot-assay could be more appropriate. Methods and Results. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 16 HLA-identical living-related kidney transplant patients 3 months (range, 2 weeks to 5 months) after transplantation were tested for the frequency of interferon (IFN)-γ producing cells by the Elispot-assay. PBMC from the recipient were stimulated with irradiated donor PBMC and corrected for backward stimulation. Donor-specific IFN-γ producing cells (pc) in the range of 5 to 115 per million PBMC (median, 30 per million PBMC) were found. To evaluate the frequency of spot forming cells in time, PBMC from six patients who received an HLA-identical renal transplant were stimulated with irradiated donor PBMC before, approximately 3 months after, and 12 months after transplantation. Four patients who received an HLA-mismatched living-related kidney served as positive control. In the HLA-identical group, frequencies in the range of 0 to 10 IFN-γ pc per million PBMC were found before transplantation, 0 to 30 per million PBMC 3 months after transplantation, and 0 to 45 per million PBMC 12 months after transplantation. In the HLA-mismatched group, significantly higher numbers were found: 10 to 480 IFN-γ pc per million PBMC before, 20 to 360 per million PBMC at 3 months, and 30 to 590 per million PBMC 12 months after transplantation. Conclusion. Under immunosuppressive therapy, IFN-γ pc specific for donor mHag can be found after HLA-identical living-related renal transplantation.,
Department of Internal Medicine

van Besouw, N., Vaessen, L., Zuijderwijk, J., van Vliet, M., IJzermans, J., van der Meide, P., & Weimar, W. (2003). The frequency of interferon-γ producing cells reflects alloreactivity against minor histocompatibility antigens. In Transplantation (Vol. 75, pp. 1400–1404). doi:10.1097/01.TP.0000064376.78084.50