Article

Abnormalities in the alternative pathway of complement in children with hematopoietic stem cell transplant-associated thrombotic microangiopathy

Division of Bone Marrow Transplantion and Immune Deficiency, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, United States
Blood (Impact Factor: 10.43). 06/2013; 122(12). DOI: 10.1182/blood-2013-05-501445
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT)-associated thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) is a complication that occurs in 25-35 % of HSCT recipients and shares histomorphological similarities with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). The hallmark of all thrombotic microangiopathies is vascular endothelial cell injury of various origins, resulting in microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, platelet consumption, fibrin deposition in the microcirculation and tissue damage. While significant advances have been made in the understanding of the pathogenesis of other thrombotic microangiopathies, post-HSCT TMA remains poorly understood. We report an analysis of the complement alternative pathway, which has recently been linked to the pathogenesis of both the Shiga toxin mediated and the atypical forms of HUS, with a focus on genetic variations in the complement Factor H (CFH) gene cluster and CFH autoantibodies in six children with post-HSCT TMA. We identified a high prevalence of deletions in CFH-related genes 3 and 1 (delCFHR3-CFHR1) and CFH autoantibodies in these patients with HSCT-TMA. Conversely, CFH autoantibodies were not detected in 18 children undergoing HSCT who did not develop TMA. Our observations suggest that complement alternative pathway dysregulation may be involved in the pathogenesis of post-HSCT TMA. These findings shed light on a novel mechanism of endothelial injury in transplant-associated thrombotic microangiopathy and may therefore guide the development of targeted treatment interventions.

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