Heparan sulfate is a plasma biomarker of acute cellular allograft rejection.

Published online

Journal Article

Despite advances in management of immunosuppression, graft rejection remains a significant clinical problem in solid organ transplantation. Non-invasive biomarkers of graft rejection can facilitate earlier diagnosis and treatment of acute rejection. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential role of heparan sulfate as a novel biomarker for acute cellular rejection. Heparan sulfate is released from the extracellular matrix during T-cell infiltration of graft tissue via the action of the enzyme heparanase. In a murine heart transplant model, serum heparan sulfate is significantly elevated during rejection of cardiac allografts. Moreover, expression of the enzyme heparanase is significantly increased in activated T-cells. In human studies, plasma heparan sulfate is significantly elevated in kidney transplant recipients with biopsy-proven acute cellular rejection compared to healthy controls, recipients with stable graft function, and recipients without acute cellular rejection on biopsy. Taken together, these findings support further investigation of heparan sulfate as a novel biomarker of acute cellular rejection in solid organ transplantation.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Barbas, AS; Lin, L; McRae, M; MacDonald, AL; Truong, T; Yang, Y; Brennan, TV

Published Date

  • 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 8

Start / End Page

  • e0200877 -

PubMed ID

  • 30086133

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30086133

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0200877


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States