The Regulatory/Cytotoxic Graft-Infiltrating T Cells Differentiate Renal Allograft Borderline Change From Acute Rejection

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The interpretation of cellular infiltrate from renal transplant recipients with borderline (BL) changes is still a challenging problem. To analyze the immune phenotype of such infiltrate, we quantified the mRNA expression of Foxp3 and interleukinL-10 and granzyme B (GB) in 15 kidney biopsies with BL changes. Controls were patients presenting type IA acute rejection and nonrejecting patients. Only levels of GB mRNA correlated significantly with response to antirejection therapy. Levels of Foxp3 mRNA in BL changes were intermediate between type IA acute rejection and nonrejecting controls. To determine the balance of alloagressive to graft-protecting T cells, we quantified the Foxp3/GB ratio. BL changes T cells infiltrate expressed a significantly higher Foxp3/GB ratio than that in IA acute rejection. These results suggest that T cell infiltrate from BL change exhibit a tolerogenic rather than a cytotoxic phenotype.

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