[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment of acute rejection (AR) in heart transplantation relies on histopathological grading of endomyocardial biopsies according to International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation guidelines. Intragraft gene expression profiling may be a way to complement histological evaluation.
Transcriptional profiling was performed on 26 endomyocardial biopsies, and expression patterns were compared with the 1990 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation AR grades. Importantly, transcriptional profiles from settings with an equivalent AR grade appeared the same. In addition, grade 0 profiles could not be distinguished from 1A profiles, and grade 3A profiles could not be distinguished from 3B profiles. Comparing the AR groupings (0+1A, 1B, and 3A+3B), 0+1A showed more striking differences from 1B than from 3A+3B. When these findings were extrapolated to the 2005 revised guidelines, the combination of 1A and 1B into a single category (1R) appears to have brought together endomyocardial biopsies with different underlying processes that are not evident from histological evaluation. Grade 1B was associated with upregulated immune response genes, as 1 categorical distinction from grade 1A. Although grade 1B was distinct from the clinically relevant AR grades 3A and 3B, all of these grades shared a small number of overlapping pathways consistent with common physiological underpinnings.
The gene expression similarities and differences identified here in different AR settings have the potential to revise the clinical perspective on acute graft rejection, pending the results of larger studies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is a major cause of death after heart transplantation (HT). The reduced bioavailability of endothelium-derived nitric oxide may play a role in endothelial vasodilator dysfunction and thus in the structural changes characterizing CAV. A potential contributor to endothelial pathobiology is asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), an endogenous nitric oxide synthase inhibitor. It was hypothesized that ADMA concentrations may influence CAV progression during the first postoperative year.
Thirty-two consecutive HT recipients underwent intravascular ultrasound evaluation at month 1 and year 1 after HT. Immunosuppression included mycophenolate mofetil (MMF, n=16) and sirolimus (n=16). Change in intimal volume greater than the median and vascular remodeling were major outcome measures.
Plasma ADMA levels were associated with subsequent development of intimal hyperplasia (risk ratio [95% confidence interval] =2.72 [1.06-6.94]; P=0.038), and plasma ADMA levels greater than 0.70 micromol/L most accurately identified patients who would have developed intimal hyperplasia. However, ADMA levels did not correlate with negative coronary remodeling. Treatment with sirolimus, as compared with MMF, was associated with significantly lower ADMA levels (0.65+/-0.12 vs. 0.77+/-0.10 micromol/L; P<0.01) and less intimal hyperplasia (risk ratio [95% confidence interval] = 0.08 [0.01-0.56]; P=0.01).
Elevated plasma ADMA is associated with coronary intimal hyperplasia, supporting the importance of nitric oxide synthase inhibition in CAV pathogenesis. Treatment with sirolimus (rather than MMF) is associated with lower ADMA levels and reduced risk of accelerated CAV.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite antiviral prophylaxis, a high percentage (over 90%) of heart transplant patients experience active cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, diagnosed by detection of viral DNA in peripheral blood polymorphonuclear leukocytes within the first few months posttransplantation. Viral DNA was detected in mononuclear cells prior to detection in granulocytes from CMV-seropositive recipients (R+) receiving a heart from a CMV-seropositive donor (D+). Based on assessment of systemic infection in leukocyte populations, both R+ subgroups (R+/D- and R+/D+) experienced a greater infection burden than the R-/D+ subgroup, which was aggressively treated because of a higher risk of acute CMV disease. Despite widespread systemic infection in all at-risk patient subgroups, CMV DNA was rarely (< 3% of patients) detected in transplanted heart biopsy specimens. The R+ patients more frequently exceeded the 75th percentile of the CMV DNA copy number distribution in leukocytes (110 copies/10(5) polymorphonuclear leukocytes) than the R-/D+ subgroup. Therefore, active systemic CMV infection involving leukocytes is common in heart transplant recipients receiving prophylaxis to reduce acute disease. Infection of the transplanted organ is rare, suggesting that chronic vascular disease attributed to CMV may be driven by the consequences of systemic infection.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 06/2007; 45(6):1804-10. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nephrotoxicity is a major side effect of calcineurin inhibitors (CNI). Earlier we reported 8% of our heart transplant recipients reaching end-stage renal failure (ESRF). Now, with an extended follow up of 20 years, we re-evaluated the development of ESRF and studied its influence on survival and the impact of polymorphisms in codon 10 and 25 of the promoter region of transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta on the risk of ESRF.
In all, 465 patients were transplanted between June 1984 and June 2005. All were on maintenance CNI treatment. Development of ESRF was studied in 402/465 (86.5%) patients surviving at least one year. Their median follow up was eight years, total observation time of 3,414 years. TGF-beta polymorphisms in codon 10 (Leu to Pro) and codon 25 (Arg to Pro) were analyzed with real-time polymerase chain reaction in a cohort of 237 patients, with an observation time of 2,329 years.
Ten-year survival of patients surviving at least one year was 58.5%. Seventy-three patients (18.2%) developed ESRF. Dialysis-free survival was 60% at 15 years. The relative risk for ESRF in Pro carriers was 2.9 (CI 1.5-5.8) compared to patients with the Leu/Leu genotype (P = 0.002), while Pro carriers had a RR of 2.6 (CI 1.4-4.8) compared to the Arg/Arg25 genotype (P = 0.002). Survival of patients with ESRF was 1.5 years (median).
We found a highly significant association between TGF-beta polymorphisms and CNI induced ESRF after heart transplantation (HTx). Pro carriers of either codon 10 or 25 had a 2.6 to 2.9 times increased risk of developing ESRF. As ESRF after HTx results in high mortality rates these patients should no longer receive CNI-based immunosuppression.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anticytomegalovirus (CMV) prophylaxis prevents the acute disease but its impact on subclinical infection and allograft outcome is unknown. We sought to determine whether CMV prophylaxis administered for three months after heart transplant would improve patient outcomes.
This prospective cohort study of 66 heart transplant recipients compared aggressive CMV prophylaxis (n = 21, CMV hyperimmune globulin [CMVIG] plus four weeks of intravenous ganciclovir followed by two months of valganciclovir); with standard prophylaxis (n = 45, intravenous ganciclovir for four weeks). Prophylaxis was based on pretransplant donor (D) and recipient (R) CMV serology: R-/D+ received aggressive prophylaxis; R+ received standard prophylaxis. Outcome measures were: CMV infection assessed by DNA-polymerase chain reaction on peripheral blood polymorphonuclear leukocytes, acute rejection, and cardiac allograft vascular disease (CAV) assessed by intravascular ultrasound. All patients completed one year of follow-up. RESULTS.: CMV infection was subclinical in all but four patients (two in each group). Aggressively treated patients had a lower incidence of CMV infection (73 +/- 10% vs. 94 +/- 4%; P = 0.038), and an independent reduced relative risk for acute rejection graded > or =3A (relative risk [95% CI] = 0.55 [0.26-0.96]; P = 0.03), as compared with the standard prophylaxis group. Aggressively prophylaxed patients also showed a slower progression of CAV, in terms of coronary artery lumen loss (lumen volume change=-21 +/- 13% vs. -10+/-14%; P = 0.05); and vessel shrinkage (vessel volume change = -15 +/- 11% vs. -3 +/- 18%; P = 0.03).
Prolonged (val)ganciclovir plus CMVIG reduces viral levels, acute rejection, and allograft vascular disease, suggesting a role for chronic subclinical infection in the pathophysiology of the most common diseases affecting heart transplant recipients.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the functional promoter repeat polymorphism (GT)(n) in the oxidative stress-induced enzyme heme oxygenase-1 in relation to heart failure and complications after transplantation. No influence of the polymorphism on the development of heart failure, graft survival, acute rejection, or transplant atherosclerosis was found.
The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 05/2005; 24(4):493-7. · 5.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Peri-operative tissue injury triggers the development of Transplant Coronary Artery Disease (TCAD). Animal studies have shown that induction of heme oxygenase (HO)-1 protects the donor organ from the development of TCAD. To investigate the role of HO-1 in TCAD after clinical heart transplantation, we measured intragraft mRNA expression of HO-1, HIF-1alpha, TGF-beta, FLIP, and the Bcl-2/Bax balance. Immunohistochemical staining of HO-1 was performed to determine its origin. Myocardial biopsies taken at the end of the transplantation procedure (time 0), at 1 week and at 10 months after transplantation were studied from recipients with or without angiographic signs of accelerated TCAD, diagnosed after 1 year. At time 0, no differences in mRNA expression for any of the measured parameters were found between TCAD positive and negative patients. At 1 week, mRNA expression of HO-1 and TGF-beta was higher in grafts that developed accelerated TCAD (p=0.001 and p=0.0002). These higher mRNA levels were accompanied by a pro-apoptotic shift in Bcl-2/Bax (p=0.02), suggesting proneness for apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway. Immunohistochemical staining showed that HO-1 was mainly produced by infiltrating macrophages. At 10 months, again HO-1 and TGF-beta levels were high in TCAD positive patients (p=0.02 and p=0.05), but the expression of apoptotic markers was comparable at this time point. Our results suggest that a higher HO-1 by macrophages in our patient population might be an adaptive response to tissue injury and inflammation, reflecting damage due to the transplantation procedure that finally results in TCAD.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IL-2 and IFN-gamma are associated with acute rejection (AR) and graft vascular disease (GVD) after clinical heart transplantation. Polymorphisms in the genes of IL-2 (T-330G in the promoter) and IFN-gamma (CA repeat in the first intron) influence the production levels of these cytokines. Therefore, these polymorphisms might have an effect on the outcome after transplantation. To investigate possible effects of genetic variations in IL-2 and IFN-gamma genes on AR and GVD, we analyzed the IL-2 T-330G and the IFN-gamma CA repeat polymorphism in DNA of 301 heart transplant recipients. No associations were found for allele or genotype distributions between patients with or without AR (IL-2 allele frequency: P=0.44, genotype distribution: P=0.46; IFN-gamma allele frequency P=0.10, genotype distribution 12 repeats allele: P=0.21). Also, no associations were found analyzing the number (0 vs. 1 vs. >or=1) of AR (IL-2 allele frequency: P=0.59; genotype distribution: P=0.37; IFN-gamma allele frequency: P=0.27, genotype distribution 12 repeats allele: P=0.41) or analyzing the polymorphisms in patients with AR within the first month or thereafter (IL-2 allele frequency: P=0.45, genotype distribution: P=0.38; IFN-gamma allele frequency: P=0.21, genotype distribution 12 repeats allele: P=0.41). Analyzing both polymorphisms in relation to GVD, resulted in comparable allele and genotype distributions (IL-2 allele frequency: P=0.75; genotype distribution: P=0.77; IFN-gamma allele frequency: P=0.70, genotype distribution 12 repeats allele: P=0.63). In conclusion, we did not detect an association between the IL-2 T-330G promoter polymorphism and CA repeat polymorphism in the first intron of the IFN-gamma gene and AR or GVD after heart transplantation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IL-2 and IFN-γ are associated with acute rejection (AR) and graft vascular disease (GVD) after clinical heart transplantation. Polymorphisms in the genes of IL-2 (T-330G in the promoter) and IFN-γ (CA repeat in the first intron) influence the production levels of these cytokines. Therefore, these polymorphisms might have an effect on the outcome after transplantation. To investigate possible effects of genetic variations in IL-2 and IFN-γ genes on AR and GVD, we analyzed the IL-2 T-330G and the IFN-γ CA repeat polymorphism in DNA of 301 heart transplant recipients. No associations were found for allele or genotype distributions between patients with or without AR (IL-2 allele frequency: P=0.44, genotype distribution: P=0.46; IFN-γ allele frequency P=0.10, genotype distribution 12 repeats allele: P=0.21). Also, no associations were found analyzing the number (0 vs. 1 vs. ⩾1) of AR (IL-2 allele frequency: P=0.59; genotype distribution: P=0.37; IFN-γ allele frequency: P=0.27, genotype distribution 12 repeats allele: P=0.41) or analyzing the polymorphisms in patients with AR within the first month or thereafter (IL-2 allele frequency: P=0.45, genotype distribution: P=0.38; IFN-γ allele frequency: P=0.21, genotype distribution 12 repeats allele: P=0.41). Analyzing both polymorphisms in relation to GVD, resulted in comparable allele and genotype distributions (IL-2 allele frequency: P=0.75; genotype distribution: P=0.77; IFN-γ allele frequency: P=0.70, genotype distribution 12 repeats allele: P=0.63). In conclusion, we did not detect an association between the IL-2 T-330G promoter polymorphism and CA repeat polymorphism in the first intron of the IFN-γ gene and AR or GVD after heart transplantation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine whether genetic factors are involved in the development of acute rejection (AR), we investigated a (CA)m(CT)n repeat in the 3'-flanking region of the interleukin (IL)-2 gene.
We genotyped 290 heart transplant recipients with and without AR (International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation criteria > or =3A) and 101 controls.
The frequency of allele 135 of the repeat and its genotype distribution (carriers/noncarriers) were significantly associated with freedom from AR (P=0.03 and P=0.02, respectively). We also found interaction between allele 135 and HLA-DR matching. More carriers of allele 135 with no or one mismatch remained free from AR compared to patients without the allele (P=0.01). This was not found in the HLA-DR group with two mismatches.
HLA-DR matching might only be effective in reducing AR after heart transplantation in recipients who carry allele 135 of the (CA)m(CT)n repeat in the 3'-flanking region of the IL-2 gene.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The regulatory cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 is thought to play a role in atherosclerotic heart disease as well as in idiopathic cardiomyopathy. The production of TGF-beta1 is genetically controlled as polymorphisms in the signaling sequence of the TGF-beta1 gene leucine(10)-->proline and arginine(25)-->proline are involved in the regulation of the protein production level. We investigated whether these polymorphisms are associated with end-stage heart failure caused by dilated cardiomyopathy (CMP) or ischemic heart disease (IHD).
We determined polymorphisms using sequence specific oligonucleotide probing (SSOP) in genomic DNA samples from heart transplant recipients (n = 253) and controls (n = 94). Indications for transplantation were dilated CMP (n = 109) and IHD (n = 144).
We found a difference in TGF-beta1 codon 10 genotype distribution among patients with IHD, dilated CMP, and controls (p = 0.034; chi(2) test). Patients with dilated CMP differed from patients with IHD (p = 0.044) and healthy controls (0.017). The genotype distribution between patients with IHD and controls was comparable. For codon 25, we found no difference in genotype distribution.
The Leu(10)-->Pro (codon 10) polymorphism in the TGF-beta1 gene is associated with end-stage heart failure caused by dilated CMP and not with IHD. This observation suggests that TGF-beta1 is involved in the pathogenesis of CMP.
The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 09/2001; 20(9):979-84. · 5.11 Impact Factor