Development of anti-human leukocyte antigen class 1 antibodies following allogeneic islet cell transplantation

P. I. Lobo, C. Spencer, W. D. Simmons, K. D. Hagspiel, J. F. Angle, S. Deng, J. Markmann, A. Naji, S. E. Kirk, T. Pruett, K. L. Brayman

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18 Scopus citations


Currently there is minimal concern that islet allograft failure could result from the development of anti-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies reactive to the allograft. We report here a case of islet allograft failure where the recipient developed immunoglobulin G anti-HLA class I antibodies reactive to HLA antigens present in two of the three islet cell donors. The patient had no detectable anti-HLA antibodies prior to the transplant but these antibodies were detected approximately 4 months posttransplant. Of concern, these antibodies developed despite induction with anti-IL2R antibodies (Zenapex) prior to intraportal islet cell infusion, low-dose tacrolimus (12-hour troughs 3 to 5 ng/mL) and rapammune (target troughs 12 to 15 ng/mL). The patient was not presensitized with blood products or a previous allograft. Her husband, however, shared antigens present in one of the islet donors and the recipient could have been presensitized to her husband during her two pregnancies. This case clearly demonstrates that islet allografts can lead to development of anti-HLA antibodies, which can cause islet allograft failure, as is the case with solid organ transplants, and hence emphasizes the need to monitor for such antibodies pre- and posttransplant. Additionally it appears that currently recommended immunosuppression may not be sufficient to inhibit a humoral response to both alloantigens and autoantigens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3438-3440
Number of pages3
JournalTransplantation proceedings
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2005

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Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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