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Am J Transplant. 2005 Aug;5(8):1827-36.

Expression of CTL associated transcripts precedes the development of tubulitis in T-cell mediated kidney graft rejection.

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1
Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology & Transplantation Immunology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

The usual phenotype of clinical kidney allograft rejection is infiltration by lymphocytes and macrophages and evolution of histologic Banff lesions, particularly tubulitis, which indicate parenchymal injury. Using Affymetrix microarrays, we evaluated the relationship between the evolution of pathologic lesions and the transcriptome. We studied CBA/J into C57Bl/6 mouse kidney allografts in which one host kidney is left in place to permit observation of lesion development. Histology was dominated by early infiltration by mononuclear cells from day 3 and slower evolution of tubulitis after day 7. We defined a set of cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated transcripts (CATs) on the basis of expression in purified cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) and in a mixed lymphocyte culture, and absence in normal kidney. CATs were detectable by day 3 and highly expressed by day 5 in rejecting kidneys, with a median signal 14% of that in CTL, compared to 4% in isografts and normal kidneys, and persisted through day 42. Lack of mature B cells had little effect on CAT expression, confirming that CATs reflect T-cell-mediated rejection. Expression of CATs was established before diagnostic lesions and remained remarkably consistent through day 42 despite massive alterations in the pathology, and probably reflects T cells recruited to the graft.

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