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Am J Kidney Dis. 2001 Mar;37(3):518-31.

Expression of chemokines and chemokine receptors during human renal transplant rejection.

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University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.


Infiltration of renal allografts by leukocytes is a hallmark of acute transplant rejection. Chemokines attract leukocytes bearing specific chemokine receptors, and the specific leukocyte chemokine receptor phenotype is associated with types of immune responses, ie, T helper subtype 1 (Th1; CXC chemokine receptor 3 [CXCR3], CC chemokine receptor 5 [CCR5]) versus Th2 (CCR3, CCR4, CCR8). We studied the expression of the chemokine monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and the chemokine receptors CCR2B and CXCR4 messenger RNA (mRNA) by in situ hybridization, as well as the chemokine receptors Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (DARC) and CCR5 protein by immunohistochemistry in renal biopsy specimens with acute cellular rejection (n = 12) and acute vascular rejection (n = 8), transplant nephrectomy specimens (n = 6), and normal areas of tumor nephrectomy specimens (n = 5). CC chemokines and CC chemokine receptor mRNA expression were evaluated by ribonuclease protection assay in specimens from four transplant nephrectomies and one tumor nephrectomy. Upregulation of mRNAs for the chemokines, interferon-inducible protein-10 (IP-10); regulated on activation normal T-cell expressed and secreted; macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha); MIP-1beta; and lymphotactin, as well as the chemokine receptors, CCR2 and CCR5, were documented during allograft rejection. CCR1 mRNA was detectable in both allografts and controls, but CCR3 and CCR8 were absent. The number of CXCR4, CCR5, and CCR2B mRNAs expressing leukocytes and DARC-positive vessels increased during rejection episodes. CXCR4 mRNA was the most widely expressed. Leukocytes in diffuse interstitial infiltrates were mainly CCR5 positive, but in areas in which leukocytes formed nodular aggregates of infiltrating cells, the number of CCR5-positive cells was low. Instead, leukocytes in these nodular aggregates mainly expressed CXCR4. DARC was expressed on peritubular capillaries, where it was upregulated in areas of interstitial infiltration. Induction of chemokines during renal allograft rejection is accompanied by infiltration of leukocytes bearing the respective chemokine receptors. The upregulation of the CXCR3 ligand IP-10, as well as CCR5 and its ligands, in the absence of CCR3 and CCR8 is indicative that renal allograft rejection is primarily the result of a Th1-type immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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