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Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2011 Nov;7(6):769-78. doi: 10.1586/eci.11.32.

Immune factors influencing ethnic disparities in kidney transplantation outcomes.

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Division of Nephrology and Hypertension and Transplantation Service, Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals University Hospitals Case Medical Center, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


An influence of ethnicity on the outcomes of kidney transplant recipients has been recognized for several decades. Both immune and nonimmune factors have been explored as potential explanations. Most studies have focused on the inferior outcomes of African-Americans. As a group, African-Americans differ from Caucasians with respect to a number of measurable components of the alloimmune response, including the T-cell repertoire and the expression and function of costimulatory molecules and various cytokines and chemokines. In general, these differences suggest that African-Americans may be high immune responders. However, no single difference in any of these components of alloimmunity satisfactorily explains the disparities in outcomes. It seems probable that some combination of immune factors interacts with nonimmune factors, such as socioeconomic resources, to influence transplant outcomes in a complex manner.

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