The efficacy of anti-viral intravenous immunogobulins (anti-HBs Ig and anti-CMV Ig) in preventing acute rejection after liver transplantation was assessed in a retrospective analysis, and correlated to their effects on immune cells in vitro. HBs Ag-positive liver graft recipients (n = 40) treated prophylactically with anti-HBs Ig had a significantly lower incidence of acute rejection compared with recipients without viral hepatitis (n = 147) (12% vs. 34%; p = 0.012), while the incidence of rejection in HCV-positive recipients (n = 29) was similar to that in the control group. Treatment with anti-CMV Ig (n = 18) did not protect against rejection. In vitro, anti-HBs Ig suppressed functional maturation of and cytokine production by human blood-derived dendritic cells (DC) at concentrations similar to the serum concentrations reached during anti-HBs Ig treatment of liver graft recipients. In addition, anti-HBs Ig inhibited allo-antigen- and lectin-stimulated proliferation of peripheral T cells. Anti-CMV Ig suppressed functional DC-maturation and alloantigen-stimulated T-cell proliferation, but not lectin-driven T-cell proliferation. In conclusion, anti-HBs Ig protects against acute rejection after liver transplantation, probably by functional inhibition of the two principal immune cells involved in allograft rejection, DC and T cells. Copyright

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American Journal of Transplantation
Department of Pathology

Kwekkeboom, J, de Man, R.A, Metselaar, H.J, Tha-In, T, Tra, W.M.W, Hop, W.C.J, … Kusters, J.G. (2005). Hepatitis B immunoglobulins inhibit dendritic cells and T cells and protect against acute rejection after liver transplantation. American Journal of Transplantation, 5(10), 2393–2402. doi:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2005.01029.x