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Transplantation. 2001 Feb 15;71(3):422-8.

Improved flow cytometric detection of HLA alloantibodies using pronase: potential implications in renal transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77555-0178, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Flow cytomeric crossmatch (FCXM) has grown in popularity and has become the "standard of practice" in many programs. Although FCXM is the most sensitive method for detecting alloantibody, the B cell FCXM has been problematic. Difficulties with the B cell FCXMs have been centered around high nonspecific fluorescence background owing to Fc-receptors present on the B cells and autoantibodies. To improve the specificity and sensitivity of the B cell FCXM, we utilized the proteolytic enzyme pronase to remove Fc receptors from lymphocytes before their use in FCXM.

METHODS:

Lymphocytes isolated from peripheral blood, spleen, or lymph nodes were treated with pronase and then used in a three-color FCXM. A total of 167 T- and B cell FCXMs using pronase-treated and untreated cells were performed. Testing used serial dilutions of HLA allosera (22 class I and 6 class II), with the titer of each antibody at one dilution past the titer at which the complement-mediated cytotoxicity anti-human globulin crossmatch became negative.

RESULTS:

After pronase treatment, the actual channel values of the negative control in both T cell and B cell FCXMs declined from 78+/-10 to 57+/-4 (P<0.05) and 107+/-11 to 49+/-3 (P<0.00001), respectively. Pronase treatment resulted in improved sensitivity of the T and B cell FCXM in detecting class I antibody by 20% and 80%, respectively. In no instance was a false-positive reaction observed. In this study, pronase treatment improved the specificity of B cell FCXM for detecting class II antibodies from 75% to 100% (P=0.03). In no instance was a false-negative reaction recorded. Lastly, on the basis of these observations we re-evaluated three primary transplant recipients who lost their allografts because of accelerated rejection. One of the patients was transplanted across negative T and B cell FCXM, whereas the other two patients were transplanted across a positive T cell, but negative B cell, FCXM. After pronase treatment, T and B cell FCXMs of each patient became strongly positive, and donor-specific anti-HLA class I antibody was identi. fied in each case.

CONCLUSION:

Utilization of pronase-treated lymphocytes improves both the sensitivity and specificity of the FCXM.

PMID:
11233905
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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