Recent studies suggest that the immunogenicity of an human leukocyte antigen (HLA) incompatibility should be considered in the context of the HLA phenotype of the recipient. The HLA-DR phenotype of the responder is thought to be predictive for the strength of the alloimmune response. In order to analyze the humoral response against HLA class I antigens in the context of the HLA-DR phenotype of the responder, we selected all HLA-DR homozygous Dutch patients that were present on the Eurotransplant waiting list between 1967 and 2000 (n = 1,317 patients). By logistic regression it was determined whether antibody production against a specific HLA class I antigen is associated with a particular HLA-DR antigen in the patient. Furthermore, it was analyzed whether a patient, expressing a particular HLA-DR antigen, preferentially produces antibodies against particular HLA class I antigens. The results demonstrate that patients, homozygous for a certain HLA-DR antigen, cannot be considered high or low responders when analyzing the antibody response in terms of panel reactive antibody (PRA) value. However, a correlation can be found between the HLA-DR phenotype of the patient and the specific antibody response against HLA class I antigens. For example, antibodies against HLA-A10, -A11, -A19, and -B35 are produced more frequently by HLA-DR6 positive individuals, whereas antibodies against HLA-A3, -B5, -B7, -B8, and -B12 are produced more frequently by HLA-DR4 positive individuals. These data confirm that the HLA-DR phenotype of the responder plays a determinative role in the immunogenicity of mismatched HLA antigens. The results indicate that selection of HLA class I mismatches of the donor in the context of the HLA-DR phenotype of the responder might reduce the incidence of humoral graft rejection and minimize the sensitization grade of retransplant candidates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy