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Selected Publication:

Strauch, M.
T cell dynamics in peripheral blood in kidney transplantation
Humanmedizin; [ Diplomarbeit ] Graz Medical University; 2021. pp. 74 [OPEN ACCESS]


Authors Med Uni Graz:
Eller Kathrin
Kirsch Alexander

Introduction: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play a crucial role in the avoidance of transplant rejection and achieving immunotolerance. The aim of this study was to evaluate Treg populations in patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) before kidney transplantation was performed. Methods: Seventy-four ESKD patients listed for kidney transplantation and 74 healthy controls were included. Peripheral blood samples for FACS analysis were drawn shortly before kidney transplantation was performed. Patients received long-term follow-up after transplantation to gain insight on rejection episodes. Treg subpopulations were evaluated using flow cytometry and cells were displayed as percent of their respective population. Results: While there was no significant difference in CD3+CD4+ T cells and FoxP3+ Tregs, significantly more CD127+FoxP3+ cells (1.29±2.09 vs. 0.27±0.77 % of CD3+CD4+; p<0.001), more CD25+CD127+ Tregs (7.04±3.23 vs. 5.65±2.10 % of CD3+CD4+; p<0.001) more FoxP3/CD25 Tregs (5.25±2.85 vs. 4.34±2.05 % of CD3+CD4+; p < 0.001), more Th17-type CD161+ Tregs (2.94±1.94 vs. 1.79±1.47 % of CD25+CD127dim; p<0.001) more CD161-Trans Tregs (34.47±19.90 vs. 28.37±10.14 % of CD25+CD127dim; p=0.002), and less naïve Tregs (30.20±12.47 vs. 34.69±12.53 % of CD25+CD127dim, p=0.035) were measured in ESKD patients than in healthy controls. There were more non-suppressive T cells (2.92±1.53 vs. 2.59±1.61 % of CD4+; p=0.008) and activated Tregs (0.67±0.78 vs. 0.45±0.43 % of CD4+; p<0.001) in patients with ESKD, but there was no difference in resting Tregs, in effector Tregs and effector-proliferative Tregs between the groups. During follow-up, 13 patients experienced biopsy proven rejection episodes. When Tregs were analysed before transplantation, we could not find significant alterations between patients of different rejection groups. Conclusion: Based on flow cytometry of several Treg subsets, this study proved that healthy controls show different percentages of Tregs than ESKD patients, but no significant alterations of Tregs between patients with and without following rejection episodes could be found. Bearing in mind that Treg analysis is not only affected by cell definition, but also by timing and technical issues of evaluation, further trials at serial time points after transplantation are suggested for better Treg understanding.

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