Disparity for a newly identified minor histocompatibility antigen, HA-8, correlates with acute graft-versus-host disease after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation from an HLA-identical sibling


Yoshiki Akatsuka, MD, Division of Immunology, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, 1-1 Kanokoden, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8681, Japan. E-mail: yakatsuk@aichi-cc.jp


Summary.  We recently identified a new minor histocompatibility antigen, termed HA-8, which is presented by human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-A*0201 or HLA-A*0202 and expressed ubiquitously among tissues. A retrospective analysis of 577 Caucasian patients with HLA-A*0201 or A*0202 who had received a haematopoietic stem cell transplant from a human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-identical sibling was conducted to determine whether HA-8 disparity correlated with clinical outcome. HA-8 disparity was detected in 72 recipients, and grades II–IV graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) occurred in 46 (64%), compared with 251 (50%) of the 503 patients without HA-8 disparity. After adjusting for known risk factors for acute GVHD, this difference was statistically significant (odds ratio, 1·8; 95% confidence interval, 1·0–3·1; P = 0·04). However, the hazards of clinical extensive chronic GVHD, overall mortality and recurrent malignancy were not statistically significantly different between the two groups. These data suggest that the increased risk of acute GVHD associated with recipient HA-8 disparity was not sufficient to change other clinical outcomes.