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Transpl Immunol. 2007 Nov;18(2):85-7. Epub 2007 Jun 12.

The type of ATG matters -- natural killer cells are influenced differentially by Thymoglobulin, Lymphoglobulin and ATG-Fresenius.

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Department of Hematology, Oncology, and Transfusion Medicine, Charité-Campus Benjamin Franklin, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12200 Berlin, Germany.


Although ATG is frequently used in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and solid organ transplantation, little is known on its effects on NK cells, which mediate important functions in post-transplantation immunology. We incubated peripheral blood lymphocytes of healthy donors with Thymoglobulin, Lymphoglobulin or ATG-Fresenius. Cell death and apoptosis of NK cells and T cells were determined by flow cytometry using propidium iodide and Annexin V. As expected, there were no significant differences between the different ATGs regarding their T cell toxicity. Surprisingly, we found profound differences between the different ATGs regarding their impact on NK cells: In clinically relevant concentrations Lymphoglobulin had less toxic effects on NK cells as compared to Thymoglobulin or ATG-Fresenius: the median percentages of apoptotic or necrotic NK cells in response to 1 mug/ml Lymphoglobulin, ATG-Fresenius and Thymoglobulin were 2%, 35% and 38%, respectively (p<0.001). This is the first report of differential effects of different ATGs on NK cells. Lymphoglobulin appears to be superior to Thymoglobulin or ATG Fresenius regarding the preservation of NK cell mediated immunity. Randomized trials addressing the impact of different ATGs on lymphocyte subpopulations in the clinical setting are urgently warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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