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Pediatr Transplant. 2009 Nov;13(7):851-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3046.2008.01073.x. Epub 2008 Oct 31.

The impact of intercurrent EBV infection on ATP levels in CD4+ T cells of pediatric kidney transplant recipients.

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Transplantation Institute, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA.


ImmuKnow measures ATP (ng/mL) in PHA-activated CD4+ T cells from patient's whole blood. According to published reports, median ImmuKnow is 258 ng/mL in stable pediatric kidney transplant (PKT) recipients > or =12 yr, and 165 ng/mL in those <12 yr. However, data on the effect of infection or AR on ImmuKnow are scarce. We studied the effect of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) viremia on ImmuKnow in PKT with GD. Twenty-eight PKT with GD were reviewed. Group 1 has 19 PKT > or =12 yr, and group 2 has nine PKT <12 yr. Mean follow-up was 19.4 +/- 12 months. All ImmuKnow values discussed in this study were measured during GD +/- fever. None had ImmuKnow pretransplant. EBV DNA was isolated from patient blood by real-time PCR. Group 1 has eight boys and 11 girls (mean age = 16.6 +/- 2.4 yr). Group 2 has two boys and seven girls (mean age = 6 +/- 3.1 yr). Median ImmuKnow was 292 ng/mL in group 1, and 370 ng/mL in group 2. Nine children developed EBV viremia: two in group 1 (median ImmuKnow = 273 ng/mL), and seven in group 2 (median ImmuKnow = 475 ng/mL). Overall mean ImmuKnow in the nine EBV viremic patients was higher than that in the 19 non-viremic ones (422 +/- 176 ng/mL, and 302 +/- 113 ng/mL, respectively, unequal variance t-test, p = 0.08). Eight children developed AR (all in G1, median ImmuKnow = 272 ng/mL). In group 1, one patient developed concurrent EBV viremia and rejection, while another patient developed EBV viremia six months following a rejection episode. In group 2, none developed simultaneous AR, CMV, or BK virus infection with EBV viremia. None developed post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease. In summary, EBV viremia was paradoxically associated with high ImmuKnow in PKT <12 yr. This suggests strong co-stimulation of PHA-activated CD4+ T cells by EBV-transformed B cells.

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