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Curr Opin Organ Transplant. 2009 Feb;14(1):34-9. doi: 10.1097/MOT.0b013e32831e13d0.

Using gene arrays in diagnosis of rejection.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.



In the last decade, microarray technology has revolutionized biological research by allowing the screening of tens of thousands of genes simultaneously. This article reviews recent studies in organ transplantation using microarrays and highlights the issues that should be addressed in order to use microarrays in diagnosis of rejection.


Microarrays have been useful in identifying potential biomarkers for chronic rejection in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, novel pathways for induction of tolerance, and genes involved in protecting the graft from the host immune system. Microarray analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from chronic antibody-mediated rejection has identified potential noninvasive biomarkers. In a recent study, correlation of pathogenesis-based transcripts with histopathologic lesions is a promising step towards inclusion of microarrays in clinics for organ transplants.


Despite promising results in diagnosis of histopathologic lesions using microarrays, the low dynamic range of microarrays and large measured expression changes within the probes for the same gene continue to cast doubts on their readiness for diagnosis of rejection. More studies must be performed to resolve these issues. Dominating expression of globin genes in whole blood poses another challenge for identification of noninvasive biomarkers. In addition, studies are also needed to demonstrate effects of different immunosuppression therapies and their outcomes.

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