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Transplantation. 2005 Jul 15;80(1):118-26.

Alloreactivity against repeated HLA mismatches of sequential islet grafts transplanted in non-uremic type 1 diabetes patients.

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  • 1Department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.



Islet transplantation can restore insulin production in type 1 diabetes patients. However, survival of the islet allografts will face rejection or recurrence of autoimmunity or a combination of both. In a study on islet-after-kidney transplants, we previously reported that islet cell recipients presented low T-cell alloresponses for HLA mismatches that were shared by the islet cell graft and the prior kidney graft, that is, repeated mismatch, while vigorous responses were measured against novel HLA mismatches.


We now investigated T-cell alloreactivity to repeated HLA-mismatches in three non-uremic type 1 diabetic patients each receiving three sequential islet cell implants.


These islet-after-islet recipients patients exhibited low or absent responses to repeated mismatches to the first graft which was accompanied by sustained graft function, and reduced responsiveness towards subsequent grafts. In one patient, T-cell responses towards these mismatches were noticed following new mismatches in subsequent grafts, with loss of graft function.


These case reports further support the view that subsequent islet implantations can reduce alloreactivity for repeated HLA mismatches. They demonstrate the usefulness of monitoring T-cell reactivity against islet allografts to correlate immune function with graft survival and to identify conditions for preservation of beta-cell function.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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