Natural killer cell receptor--repertoire and functions after induction therapy by polyclonal rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin in unsensitized kidney transplant recipients
Clinical Immunology : the Official Journal of the Clinical Immunology Society
K HadayaJean Villard
Polyclonal rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin (rATG) is widely used in solid organ transplantation (SOT) as induction therapy or to treat corticosteroid-resistant rejection. In vivo, the effect of rATG on natural killer (NK) cells has not been studied. These cells are of particular relevance after SOT because classical immunosuppressive drugs do not inhibit or even can activate NK cells. A cohort of 20 recipients at low immunological risk, that had been receiving rATG as induction therapy, was analyzed for receptor repertoire, cytotoxicity and capacity of NK cells to secrete IFN-γ before kidney transplantation and at different time points thereafter. NK cells expressed fewer killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR), fewer activating receptors NKG2D, but more inhibitory receptor NKG2A compatible with an immature phenotype in the first 6 months post transplantation. Both cytotoxicity of NK cells and the secretion of IFN-γ were preserved over time after transplantation.