Clinical significance of γδT cells and the Vδ1 and Vδ2 subsets in rejection of transplanted liver
Objective To characterize the expression profile of γδ T cells, as well as their Vδ1 and Vδ2 subsets, in peripheral blood of liver transplanted patients following acute rejection.Methods The 27 patients who underwent liver transplant at our hospital between July 2011 and June 2012 were selected for analysis and divided into two groups according to outcome at five months post-transplantation: stable liver acceptance and normal liver function (n=16;14 males, 54±9 years old) , and acute rejection (n=11;10 males, 52±9 years old) .Transplant recipients were administered immunosuppressive agents (glucocorticoid, FK506, cyclosporine A, and azathioprine) .Age-matched healthy individuals (n=12;10 males) were enrolled as controls.Peripheral blood frequencies of γδT cells, the Vδ1 and Vδ2 subsets, were measured by flow cytometry.Parameters of liver function, including alanine aminotransferase (ALT) , aspartate aminotransferase (AST) , alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) , were measured by standard assay.The relationship of frequencies of γδT, Vδ1 and Vδ2, and Vδ1/Vδ2 ratio to transplant rejection was assessed by the Kruskal-Wallis test and to liver function indicators was assessed by Spearman's rank correlation coefficient.Results Compared to the successfully transplanted patients, those who experienced acute rejection showed significantly lower frequency of the Vδ1 subset (0.95 vs.0.59, P<0.05) , higher frequency of the Vδ2 subset (3.09 vs.1.93, P<0.05) , and lower Vδ1/Vδ2 ratio (0.342 vs.0.310, P<0.05) .there="" was="" no="" significant="" difference="" in="" the="" frequency="" of="" t="" cells="" between="" two="" transplant="" groups="" 4.60="" p="">0.05) .In addition, the successfully transplanted group showed significantly lower Vδ1/Vδ2 ratio than the healthy control group (vs.3.13, P<0.05) .The Vδ1/Vδ2 ratio showed significantly negative correlations with ALT (r=-0.525) , AST (r=-0.630) , ALP (r=-0.563) , and GGT (r=-0.567) .Conclusion The Vδ1T cells play an important role in maintaining immune tolerance of liver graft in transplanted patients.The Vδ1/Vδ2 ratio may represent a useful prognostic indicator for acute rejection after liver transplantation.
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