Background. Our objective was to determine the impact of thymoglobulin-sirolimus-cyclosporine immunosuppression on the alloimune response of pancreas-kidney transplant recipients. Methods. Thirty-six pancreas transplant recipients received an induction protocol of thymoglobulin, sirolimus, reduced-dose cyclosporine, and corticosteroids. A subset of 10 recipients were also enrolled in a study to measure immune responsiveness. Flow PRA-determined HLA antibody, donor-specific flow cytometry crossmatching (FCXM), T-cell subset, and suppressor cell assays were performed at various timepoints during the first posttransplant year. Results. One-year patient, kidney, and pancreas survivals were 97%, 94%, and 92%, respectively. There was 1 death due to sepsis, and 1 kidney and 2 pancreas graft losses. There were no acute rejection episodes. Recipients in the immune-monitoring study displayed depression of CD3, CD4, and CD8 counts (<80%) until 3 months posttransplant. At transplantation, 9 of 10 patients displayed <10% class I HLA antibody. By 3 months, 7 of 10 showed a transient elevation in class I HLA antibodies, with 2 patients expressing >80% flow PRA. At transplant 1 patient was FCXM-positive, whereas, by 3 months posttransplant, 2 of 10 patients demonstrated a positive FCXM. There were no clinical consequences to either the presence of HLA antibody or the positive FCXMs. By 6 months, 7 of 9 patients expressed immunoregulatory suppressor cell activity. Conclusions. The absence of acute rejection events was likely due to inhibition of donor-specific immunity. Seventy percent of patients demonstrated an early non-donor-directed HLA antibody response that had no adverse effect on graft function and 78% of the patients displayed immunoregulatory suppressor cell function, probably contributing to the successful clinical outcome.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|State||Published - Mar 2005|
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