Human leukocyte antigen matching in organ transplantation: what we know and how can we make it better (Revisiting the past, improving the future)

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Purpose of reviewA renaissance for human leukocyte antigen (HLA) testing emerged with the understanding that donor-specific HLA antibodies play a significant role in long-term allograft survival. This renewed focus on donor/recipient histocompatibility led to a recent quest to decipher antibody responses or, as introduced into the transplantation lexicon, ‘HLA-epitope matching’.Recent findingsWhether matching is at the antigen or the epitope level, in-depth understanding of how histo-incompatibility leads to activation of an immune response is required. HLA-DQ donor-specific antibody (DSA) has the highest association with poor graft survival. However, HLA-DQ antigens and antibodies are understudied and significant gaps still exist in understanding the function of HLA-DQ in immune activation. Much of our knowledge about HLA class-II molecules is derived from studies performed on HLA-DR, whether it is crystallography, antigen processing and presentation analysis, or activation of T-cell signal-transduction pathways. Indeed, HLA-DQ molecules are less amenable for laboratory testing, but the limited studies that were performed indicate that HLA-DQ might have, at least to some extent, a different role compared with HLA-DR.SummaryThis review highlights qualities of HLA-DQ that may be associated with different pathways of activating an immune response. Understanding the consequences of such differences may lead to better appreciation and significance of HLA-DQ for matching purposes.

    loading  Loading Related Articles