Intragraft Hyaluronan Increases in Association with Acute Lung Transplant Rejection
Background. Acute perivascular rejection (AR) is common in lung recipients and increases the risk for chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD). Hyaluronan (HA), an extracellular matrix constituent, accumulates in experimental AR and can act as an innate immune agonist, breaking tolerance and potentiating alloimmunity. We previously demonstrated HA accumulates in CLAD after human-lung transplantation. We sought to determine if HA accumulates in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) concurrent with AR in lung recipients. Methods. The cohort consisted of 126 first adult lung recipients at 5 transplant centers with a total of 373 BALF samples collected within the first posttransplant year. All samples were paired with a lung biopsy from the same bronchoscopy. BALF HA (ng/mL) was quantified by ELISA and log-transformed for analysis. Linear-mixed effect models, adjusted for potential confounders, were used to estimate the association between BALF HA concentration and the presence of AR on biopsy. The association between early posttransplant BALF HA levels and the development of CLAD was explored utilizing tertiles of maximum BALF HA level observed within the first 6 months of transplant. Results. In analyses adjusted for potential confounders, BALF HA concentration was significantly increased in association with AR (change in means on log-scale 0.31; 95% CI, 0.01-0.60; P = 0.044). When considered on the original scale (ng/mL), BALF HA concentrations were 1.36 times (36%) higher, on average, among samples with, versus without, AR. The cumulative incidence of CLAD was numerically higher in individuals in the highest tertiles of BALF HA level within the first 6 months after transplant, as compared with those in the lowest tertile; however, this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.32). Conclusions. These results demonstrate accumulation of HA in clinical AR and suggest a mechanism by which innate and adaptive immune activation might interact in the development of AR and CLAD.
Hostetler, HP; Neely, ML; Kelly, FL; Belperio, JA; Budev, M; Reynolds, JM; Shah, PD; Singer, LG; Snyder, LD; Palmer, SM; Todd, JL
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