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Transplantation. 1998 Nov 15;66(9):1167-74.

Stable lung allograft outcome correlates with the presence of intragraft donor-derived leukocytes.

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1
Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53792, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The role of bone marrow-derived "passenger" leukocytes in the outcome of solid organ transplantation remains controversial. This study tested the relationship between high levels of donor-derived leukocytes within the transplanted organ and clinical outcome after lung transplantation.

METHODS:

Sequential bronchoalveolar lavage samples were obtained from human lung allograft recipients. Leukocytes of donor origin in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were detected using two-color immunofluorescence, and the results were correlated with multiple clinical parameters.

RESULTS:

Mean donor leukocyte levels for the first 200 days after transplantation were higher in patients with a good transplantation outcome compared with those patients who lost their grafts due to acute rejection (AR) or developed bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. The presence of low numbers of donor-derived leukocytes for the first 200 days after transplantation was found to be a significant risk factor for graft loss due to either acute or chronic rejection (P=0.032). Nearly all patients (85%) experienced AR episodes. However, the time to onset of severe AR episodes was significantly longer (P=0.049), and the incidence of these episodes reduced, in patients who maintained high numbers of donor-derived leukocytes for the first 200 days after transplantation.

CONCLUSIONS:

The presence of high numbers of donor-derived leukocytes, particularly macrophages, in the transplanted lung in the first 200 days after transplantation was associated with stable graft function. Donor-derived leukocytes were reduced or absent in patients with a poor transplantation outcome. These findings rule out a negative influence of persisting donor leukocytes and are consistent with the emerging two-way models of transplant tolerance.

PMID:
9825813
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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