Antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) driven by the development of donor-specific antibodies (DSA) directed against mismatched donor human leukocyte antigen (HLA) is a major risk factor for graft loss in cardiac transplantation. Recently, the relevance of non-HLA antibodies has become more prominent as AMR can be diagnosed in the absence of circulating DSA. Here, we assessed a single-center cohort of 64 orthotopic heart transplant recipients transplanted between 1994 and 2014. Serum collected from patients with ≥ pAMR1 (n = 43) and non-AMR (n = 21) were tested for reactivity against a panel of 44 non-HLA autoantigens. The AMR group had a significantly greater percentage of patients with elevated reactivity to autoantigens compared to non-AMR (P =.002) and healthy controls (n = 94, P <.0001). DSA-positive AMR patients exhibited greater reactivity to autoantigens compared to DSA-negative (P <.0001) and AMR patients with DSA and PRA > 10% were identified as the subgroup with significantly elevated responses. Reactivity to 4 antigens, vimentin, beta-tubulin, lamin A/C, and apolipoprotein L2, was significantly different between AMR and non-AMR patients. Moreover, increased reactivity to these antigens was associated with graft failure. These results suggest that antibodies to non-HLA are associated with DSA-positive AMR although their specific role in mediating allograft injury is not yet understood.
- B cell biology
- basic (laboratory) research/science
- heart transplantation/cardiology
- rejection: antibody-mediated (ABMR)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pharmacology (medical)