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J Hepatol. 2000 Jul;33(1):163-6.

Autoantibodies associated with acute rejection after liver transplantation for type-2 autoimmune hepatitis.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Immunologie, INSERM U25, Hôpital Necker, Paris, France.


Autoantibodies, markers of autoimmune diseases, can also be detected in chronic allograft rejection. However, the appearance of these autoantibodies in acute rejection after orthotopic liver transplantation has not yet been reported. Liver-kidney-microsome type-1 (LKM-1) antibodies directed against the autoantigen cytochrome CYP2D6 define a group of patients with autoimmune hepatitis type-2 (AIH-2), distinct from autoimmune hepatitis type-1 (AIH-1) in which anti-nuclear antibodies and anti-smooth muscle antibodies (SMA) with actin specificity are present in patient sera. Autoantibodies were studied by the quantitative CYP2D6 radioligand assay (RLA) that uses a radiolabeled CYP2D6 as antigen, immunoblotting using recombinant CYP2D6 protein and human liver microsomal and cytosolic fractions, and indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) using rat kidney-stomach-liver cryostat sections. In addition, the specificity of anti-SMA was detected by IIF on HEp2 cell line harvested with colchicin. This report describes the time course of CYP2D6 antibodies and the appearance of anti-SMA (without anti-actin, cytokeratin and vimentin reactivity) associated with acute rejection during a 2-year follow-up, in a patient who underwent transplantation at end-stage type 2 autoimmune hepatitis. In addition, we report a new reactivity against an unknown 40-kDa protein using a rat cytosolic fraction. The detection of autoantibodies in sequential samples may be important to better predict rejection or relapse, and to establish adequate therapy.

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