Antigen-Specificity of T-Cell Infiltrates in Biopsies with T-Cell Mediated Rejection and BK Polyomavirus Viremia: Analysis by Next Generation Sequencing

Zeng et al., American Journal of Transplantation (2016) - PMID: 27273900

Product(s) used in this publication:  Custom Peptide Synthesis


This study interrogates the antigen-specificity of inflammatory infiltrates in renal biopsies with BK polyomavirus (BKPyV) viremia (BKPyVM) with or without allograft nephropathy (BKPyVN). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from five healthy HLA-A0101 subjects were stimulated by peptides derived from the BKPYV proteome or polymorphic regions of HLA. Next generation sequencing of the T cell-receptor complementary DNA was performed on peptide-stimulated PBMC and 23 biopsies with T cell-mediated rejection (TCMR) or BKPyVN. Biopsies from patients with BKPyVM or BKVPyVN contained 7.7732 times more alloreactive than virus-reactive clones. Biopsies with TCMR also contained BKPyV-specific clones, presumably a manifestation of heterologous immunity. The mean cumulative T cell clonal frequency was 0.1378 for alloreactive clones and 0.0375 for BKPyV-reactive clones. Samples with BKPyVN and TCMR clustered separately in dendrograms of V-family and J-gene utilization patterns. Dendrograms also revealed that V-gene, J-gene, and D-gene usage patterns were a function of HLA type. In conclusion, biopsies with BKPyVN contain abundant allospecific clones that exceed the number of virus-reactive clones. The T cell component of tissue injury in viral nephropathy appears to be mediated primarily by an "innocent bystander" mechanism in which the principal element is secondary T cell influx triggered by both antiviral and anti-HLA immunity.

© Copyright 2016 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.


basic (laboratory) research/science; genetics; infectious disease; kidney transplantation/nephrology; rejection; rejection: T cell-mediated (TCMR); translational research/science

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