The relationships between immune reactivity after blood transfusions, subsequent kidney allograft survival, and donor selection were studied in dogs. Animals with a high as well as low serological immune reactivity toward antigens contained in blood transfusion were observed.
Genetic control of this reactivity or a linkage of this property to DLA, sex, or red blood cell markers inheritance was not apparent in the four beagle families studied. The two recipients with the lowest immune reactivity scores were also found to be the longest survivors after a DLA-mismatched kidney graft. Seven other recipients with higher scores rejected their DLA-mismatched kidneys as rapidly as did untransfused animals. Kidney graft survival was decreased in some recipients of DLA-identical kidneys (n = 5), presumably through sensitization for minor histocompatibility antigens. A normal or an increased survival time of DLA-identical kidneys was found in the remaining animals (n = 6). The majority of these recipients appeared to have a higher than average reactivity in two-stage microcytotoxicity testing. This might have been attributable to the presence of enhancing antibodies. Further studies in pre-clinical animal models are needed to define the optimal transfusion policy for human patients awaiting a kidney graft.