Antibody-incompatible kidney transplantation in 2015 and beyond

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Rejection caused by donor-specific antibodies (principally ABO and HLA antibodies) has become one of the major barriers to successful long-term transplantation. This review focuses on clinical outcomes in antibody-incompatible transplantation, the current state of the science underpinning clinical observations, and how these may be translated into further novel therapies. The clinical outcomes for allografts facing donor-specific antibodies are at present determined largely by the use of agents developed in the 20th century for the treatment of T-lymphocyte-mediated cellular rejection, such as interleukin-2 agents and anti-thymocyte globulin. These treatments are partially effective, because acute antibody-mediated rejection is mediated to a considerable extent by T lymphocytes. However these treatments are essentially ineffective in chronic antibody-mediated rejection. Future therapies for the prevention and treatment of antibody-mediated rejection are likely to fall into the categories of those that reduce antibody production, extracorporeal antibody removal and disruption of the effector arms of antibody-mediated tissue damage.

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