• calcineurin inhihitor;
  • early post-transplantaion period;
  • human;
  • liver transplantation;
  • regulatory T cell;
  • T helper type 17 cells


There is limited clinical research regarding the changes in peripheral lymphocyte subsets during the early post-operative period of liver transplantation. Serial changes of T cells and B cells in living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) recipients during the early post-transplantion period were prospectively investigated. From June 2010 to February 2011, 27 consecutive LDLT recipients were enrolled. Percentages of T helper type 1 (Th1; interferon-γ-producing), Th2 (interleukin-4-producing), Th17 (interleukin-17-producing), regulatory T (Treg; CD4+ CD25+ FoxP3+), memory B (CD19+ CD24hi CD38) and mature B (CD19+ CD24int CD38int) cells were measured using fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Patients were followed up for a median of 9·9 months (range 6·8−15·5 months) after transplantation. Serial monitoring of immunological profiles showed no significant suppression of Th1, Th2, Th17, mature B or memory B cells, whereas frequencies of Treg cells significantly decreased. Interleukin-17 production by central and effector memory cells was not suppressed during the early post-operative period. The continuous production of interleukin-17 by the memory T cells may contribute to the persistence of Th17 cells. This prospective study demonstrated that current immunosuppression maintained the effector T or memory B cells during the early post-transplantation period but significantly suppressed Treg cells. Serial immune monitoring may suggest clues for optimal or individualized immunosuppression during the early post-operative period in clinical practice.