Humoral responses beyond major histocompatibility antigens continue to receive the attention of the transplantation community. We report on clinical studies testing clinical relevance of non-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antigens in solid organ transplantation and provide an update on novel experimental findings. A conceptual framework on the role of graft microenvironment during initiation of non-HLA-related humoral immunity is addressed as well.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and transforming growth factor-?1 (TGF-?1) are key mediators of adverse peritoneal membrane remodeling in peritoneal dialysis eventually leading to ultrafiltration failure. Both are pleiotropic growth factors with cell type-dependent regulation of expression and biological effects. Here we studied regulation of TGF-?1-induced VEGF expression in human peritoneal mesothelial cells in the absence or presence of proinflammatory stimuli, tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) or interleukin-1? (IL-1?). Quiescent human peritoneal mesothelial cells secreted only trace amounts of VEGF. Stimulation with TGF-?1 resulted in time- and dose-dependent increases in VEGF mRNA expression and protein release. TNF-? and IL-1? alone had minimal effects but acted in synergy with TGF-?1. Combined stimulation led to induction of transcription factor c-Fos and activation of the VEGF promoter region with high-affinity binding sites for c-Fos. Inhibition of c-Fos by small interfering RNA interference or by pharmacological blockade with SR-11302 decreased VEGF promoter activity and downregulated its expression and release. Exposure of human peritoneal mesothelial cells to dialysate effluent containing increased levels of TGF-?1, TNF-?, and IL-1? obtained during peritonitis resulted in a dose-dependent VEGF induction that was significantly attenuated by SR-11302. Thus, dialysate TGF-?1, IL-1?, and TNF-? act through c-Fos to synergistically upregulate VEGF production in peritoneal mesothelium and may represent an important regulatory link between inflammation and angiogenesis in the peritoneal membrane.
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) features autoimmunity, vasculopathy and tissue fibrosis. The renin-angiotensin and endothelin systems have been implicated in vasculopathy and fibrosis. A role for autoantibody-mediated receptor stimulation is hypothesised, linking three major pathophysiological features consistent with SSc.
Antibodies directed against G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) can act as allosteric receptor agonists or antagonists. Prototypic disease for agonistic antibody action is a Graves disease of the thyroid gland where antibodies that stimulate G-protein coupled thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) were first described 50 years ago. Myasthenia gravis is the prototype for antagonistic autoimmune actions, where antibodies directed against the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) cause blockade of neuromuscular junctions. Antibodies and B-cells are increasingly recognised as major modulators of various cardiovascular and renal pathologies. We aim to critically review the notion that antibodies targeting other GPCRs may amplify or cause various cardiovascular and renal pathologies and summarise the current state of research, as well as perspectives in diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. In terms of targets we will focus on the alpha-adrenergic receptor (alpha(1)AR), the beta-adrenergic receptor (beta(1)AR), and the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT(1)R).
Humoral responses beyond major histocompatibility antigens receive an increased attention of the transplantation community. We aimed to summarize the data on discovery of new antigenic targets, novel experimental findings, recent diagnostic developments, and introduction of new technologies in the field of non-HLA antigens in solid organ transplantation.
Antibody-mediated mechanisms directed against non-HLA related targets may exert negative impact on allograft function and survival. Angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT(1)R) emerges as a functional target for non-HLA allo- and autoantibodies (AT(1)R-Abs) comprising of IgG1 and IgG3 subclasses. Proof of concept for pathophysiologic relevance of AT(1)R-Abs in antibody mediated rejection (AMR) in renal transplants was provided by passive transfer studies in animal model and therapeutic rescue of patients. Although AT(1)R-Abs may belong to complement fixing IgG subclasses, C4d positivity in renal transplant biopsies was not frequently detected implicating complement independent mechanisms of injury. AT(1)R-Abs exert direct effects on endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells by induction of Erk1/2 signaling and increased DNA binding of transcription factors associated with pro-inflammatory and pro-coagulatory responses. Establishment of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay employing extracts of cells overexpressing AT(1)R in its native conformation was instrumental for recent studies in independent cohorts. Assessing the AT(1)R-Ab-status along with the HLA-antibodies may help to identify patients at particular risk for irreversible acute or chronic allograft injuries and improve overall outcomes. This review summarizes the current state of research in AT(1)R biology, development in diagnostic strategies, discusses recent clinical studies, and provides perspectives on further refinements in understanding AT(1)R-Ab-actions.
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