• acute rejection;
  • immunosuppression;
  • pediatric kidney transplant;
  • living donor;
  • T lymphocytes

Niederhaus SV, Bloom DD, Chang Z, Hu H, Bartosh SM, Knechtle SJ. Cytokine kinetics profiling in pediatric renal transplant recipients. Pediatr Transplantation 2010: 14:636–645. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Abstract:  Pediatric renal transplant recipients experience side effects of immunosuppression. Few immunoassays exist which can assess the adequacy of immunosuppression. We developed a CKT, whereby cytokine levels are measured in a five-day mixed lymphocyte reaction. We describe the in vitro cytokine responses to donor and third-party antigen in a pilot study of nine children after living-donor renal transplantation. The CKT identified five patterns of IFN-γ secretion relative to donor and third-party alloantigen: no response to alloantigen (n = 2), hypo-response to donor (n = 3), equal response (n = 1), hyper-response to donor (n = 1), and intermediate response (n = 2). IL-2 and IL-13 patterning correlated with IFN-γ expression. Two of nine subjects had acute rejection, which correlated with intermediate and hyper-responsive profiles. No rejection occurred during immunosuppression or donor-specific hypo-responsiveness. Significant immunosuppression was universal early after transplantation. Two of four children showed strong pretransplant responses to donor, which were regained three months post-transplant, and associated with rejection in one subject. The CKT reflects the level of immunosuppression and may offer a method to assess the adequacy of immunosuppression. A pattern of complete non-responsiveness or hypo-responsiveness correlated with lack of acute rejection. The CKT may prove useful in titrating immunosuppression and in improving live donor selection.