- Dr Neal N. Iwakoshi, Principal Investigator
- Ms Kate McMillan, Research Technician
- Emory University, Atlanta, USA
- Transplant Rejection Mediated by Antibody
For most patients with end-stage renal disease, organ transplantation is the preferred therapy. In the past two decades, the results of kidney transplantation have improved dramatically. T cells are the predominant cytotoxic cell that mediate injury during an immune response and have generally been considered the main cause of transplant rejection. Consequently, improvements in transplant survival can be directly attributed to successful T cell-targeted immunosuppression. More recently, another form of transplant rejection has been identified. This alternative route is mediated by antibody that specifically targets transplanted grafts. These antibody-mediated immune responses have become increasingly recognized as detrimental despite well-controlled T cellular immune responses. A number of recent reports suggests antibody-mediated rejection is a growing problem in clinical transplantation. The goal of this proposal is to understand the mechanisms by which antibody specific for transplanted grafts are produced by immune cells (B cells) and how they participate in the transplant rejection. Through the use of novel methods for studying antibody and immune cells, we hope to determine the relationship between the transplant-reactive cells and the production of destructive antibody in patients undergoing antibody-mediated rejection. With this knowledge, we will design methods to control these cells and induce long-term survival of transplants without the need for toxic immunosuppressive regimens. Additionally, improvement of our knowledge of these processes may uncover unknown critical pathways that will lead to new and exciting therapeutic opportunities in the future.