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The role of non-HLA antibodies in solid organ transplantation: a complex deliberation.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: There is tremendous interest in understanding when, if, and how non-HLA antibodies contribute to allograft injury. Numerous non-HLA target antigens have been identified and sensitization to these targets have been associated with delayed allograft function, rejection, and allograft failure. This review focuses on the clinical utility of HLA antibody testing, highlighting the strengths and limitations of current clinical studies, and the need for defining characteristics to inform non-HLA antibody pathogenicity. RECENT FINDINGS: Clinical studies continue to show associations between non-HLA antibodies and rejection and reduced allograft survival across multiple transplanted organ types. The worst clinical outcomes continue to be observed among recipients testing positive for both non-HLA and donor-specific HLA antibodies. Mechanistic insights from both animal and clinical studies support a model in which tissue injury accompanied by an inflammatory environment influence non-HLA antibody formation and pathogenicity. SUMMARY: Immune triggers that lead to non-HLA antibody formation and pathogenicity are complex and poorly understood. The ability of non-HLA antibodies to mediate allograft injury may depend upon their affinity and strength (titer), target specificity, density of the target antigen, and synergy with donor-specific HLA antibodies.


Jackson, Annette M., Chris Wiebe, and Michelle J. Hickey. “The role of non-HLA antibodies in solid organ transplantation: a complex deliberation.” Curr Opin Organ Transplant 25, no. 6 (December 2020): 536–42.

Published Date: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Published In: 
Curr Opin Organ Transplant