This study was undertaken to examine the humoral immune response against endothelial antigens of the donor kidney in human renal allograft recipients. Sera from 61 transplant recipients who received 62 grafts were studied for the presence of circulating endothelial antibodies (CEAb) using an indirect immunofluorescence technique with a pretransplant biopsy of the graft as a substrate. IgG antibodies directed against the endothelium of peritubular capillaries were found in the sera of 6 of the 10 patients with graft rejection within 7 weeks after transplantation, whereas these antibodies were not found in the absence of rejection (P < 0.001).SUMMARY
Immunofluorescence studies of post-transplant biopsies showed IgG along the endothelium of peritubular capillaries only in the grafts of patients with CEAb. Eluates from these grafts contained IgG antibodies that bound to the endothelium of the donor as shown by the indirect immunofluorescence téchnique. Absorption of endothelial antibody (EAb)-positive sera with human platelets or Wistar strain rat erythrocytes showed that the EAb were not directed against serologically defined HLA antigens or against heterophile antigens on rat erythrocytes.SUMMARY
We conclude from this study that the presence of antibodies directed against endothelial antigens is associated with poor graft prognosis and that these antibodies may be responsible for the rejection process.