Acute kidney graft rejection. A morphological and immunohistological study on "zero-hour" and follow-up biopsies with special emphasis on cellular infiltrates and adhesion molecules.APMIS. 1994 Jan; 102(1):23-37.A
Serial biopsies from 41 consecutive renal allotransplanted patients were evaluated in order to obtain pretransplant data as well as information on well-functioning and acutely rejecting grafts. Each patient served as his own control. Thirty-five patients were followed according to the schedule which included biopsy prior to transplantation, shortly after opening of reanastomosis, at least once postoperatively (days 7-10), and furthermore whenever clinically indicated. The morphological evaluation was in each case combined with immunofluorescence (to detect immunoglobulins and complement fractions) and immunohistochemistry with a wide panel of monoclonal antibodies for T cells (CD2, CD3, CD4, CD8, gamma delta), B cells (CD20, CD22), macrophages (CD68, MAC387) NK cells (leu-7, CD16), activation markers (IL-2-R, Ki-67, transferrin-R), MHC antigens (HLA-ABC, HLA-DR), adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, VCAM-1, ELAM-1, PADGEM, VLA-4, LFA-1 alpha/beta), and growth factors (EGF, TGF-alpha, EGF-R). When 132 biopsies and 10 failed allografts were examined, no specific morphological or immunohistological parameter predictive of rejection or graft outcome could be found. Morphology in follow-up biopsies from non-rejecting and rejecting patients revealed a continuum of inflammatory changes, and several non-rejecting cases demonstrated cellular inflammatory infiltrates which could not be discriminated from those seen in acute rejection. Of the patients 44% had acute rejection accompanied by increased infiltration of T cells and macrophages showing enhanced IL-2-R expression, increased tubular and endothelial staining for MHC class II, ICAM-1, and VCAM-1, and strong leukocytic expression of VLA-4 and LFA-1 alpha/beta.