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Am J Transplant. 2007 Mar;7(3):693-9. Epub 2007 Jan 11.

Genetic regulation of rejection and survival following human lung transplantation by the innate immune receptor CD14.

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Departments of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.


We have developed the hypothesis that genetic polymorphisms which alter the expression or function of innate immune receptors contribute to the marked interindividual differences in the onset and severity of lung transplant rejection. In this analysis, we considered the effects of a common promotor polymorphism of the lipopolysaccharide receptor CD14 associated with increased transcriptional activity upon the development of posttransplant rejection and graft survival. Genotyping was performed in 226 lung transplant recipients well characterized with regards to clinical outcomes. An earlier onset of acute rejection, bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) and worse posttransplant graft survival due to greater BOS related deaths was evident in patients with the CD14 -159 TT genotype (TT). The adverse effect upon graft survival of the TT genotype remained significant in a multivariate Cox model (Hazard Ratio 1.65, 95% CI, 1.03-2.64, p-value = 0.04) after adjusting for other important covariates. Furthermore, TT patients have significantly greater sCD14, TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma in the peripheral blood implying a heightened state of innate immune activation drives the development of increased post-transplant rejection. Inhibition of innate immune activation through CD14 represents a novel and potentially important therapeutic target to prevent post-transplant rejection and improve outcomes after human lung transplantation.

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