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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Apr 17;109(16):6036-41. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1202214109. Epub 2012 Apr 6.

The costimulatory immunogen LPS induces the B-Cell clones that infiltrate transplanted human kidneys.

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Departments of Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


The mechanism of chronic rejection of transplanted human kidneys is unknown. An understanding of this process is important because, chronic rejection ultimately leads to loss of the kidney allograft in most transplants. One feature of chronic rejection is the infiltration of ectopic B-cell clusters that are clonal into the transplanted kidney. We now show that the antibodies produced by these B-cells react strongly with the core carbohydrate region of LPS. Since LPS is a costimulatory immunogen that can react with both the B-cell receptor (BCR) and the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), these results suggest a mechanism for the selective pressure that leads to clonality of these B-cell clusters and opens the possibility that infection and the attendant exposure to LPS plays a role in the chronic rejection of human kidney transplants. If confirmed by clinical studies, these results suggest that treating patients with signs of chronic rejection with antibiotics may improve kidney allograft survival.

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