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Transplantation. 2004 Nov 15;78(9):1341-50.

CXCR3 and CCR5 positive T-cell recruitment in acute human renal allograft rejection.

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Medizinische Klinik IV, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg Eppendorf, Germany.



Experimental studies suggest that the infiltration of activated T cells into the allograft, the key event in the development of acute renal allograft rejection, depends on the expression of chemokines and their interaction with chemokine receptors expressed on T cells.


For a more detailed comprehension of the pathogenesis of T-cell recruitment in human acute rejection, the in situ expression of chemokines and chemokine receptors in allografts of 26 patients between day 3 and 9 after renal transplantation was examined in the present prospective study.


Immunohistochemical staining showed a significantly increased number of CXCR3 (P<0.01) and CCR5 positive T cells (P<0.01) in the tubulointerstitium of patients with acute allograft rejection according to Banff grade Ia-IIb. Likewise the intrarenal RNA expression of the CXCR3 ligands IP-10 (5.2-fold) and I-TAC (7.2-fold) and the CCR5 ligand RANTES (5.7-fold), was significantly up-regulated in rejecting organs. In situ hybridization revealed that IP-10 but not I-TAC was predominantly expressed by infiltrating leukocytes in the tubulointerstitial area, co-localizing with CXCR3 positive T cells. To a lesser degree expression by tubular cells could be detected, providing a possible explanation for the increased urinary IP-10 excretion we found in patients with rejecting organs.


These data from a prospective, biopsy-controlled study indicate that the local expression of IP-10 and RANTES leads to the directional movement of activated CXCR3 and CCR5 bearing T cells into the renal allograft and mediates acute rejection. Our data provide a rationale that blocking CXCR3 and CCR5 may offer a unique therapeutic approach to prevent episodes of acute rejection in the early phase after renal transplantation.

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