FRIDAY, March 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The composition of CD8+ T cells one year after kidney transplantation is associated with the risk for subsequent transplant failure, according to a study published online March 12 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Lola Jacquemont, M.D., Ph.D., from the Université de Nantes in France, and colleagues examined the frequency and function of CD8+ T cell subsets in blood samples of 284 kidney transplant recipients recruited one year posttransplant and followed for a median of 8.3 years.

The researchers observed an association between increased frequency of circulating terminally differentiated effector memory (TEMRA) CD8+ T cell at one-year posttransplant and increased risk for graft failure during follow-up. After adjustment for a previously reported composite of eight clinical variables (the Kidney Transplant Failure Score), the association persisted. In contrast, the risk for graft failure was reduced with increased frequency of effector memory CD8+ T cells. A distinct subpopulation of TEMRA CD8+ T cells that was characterized by expression of FcγRIIIA (CD16) and high levels of proinflammatory cytokine secretion and cytotoxic activity was identified; CD16 engagement resulted in selective TEMRA CD8+ T cell activation.

“The findings are important because early identification of at-risk kidney transplant recipients is critical to allow physicians to adapt their care by either increasing the frequency of patient monitoring or by introducing new therapeutics adapted to patients’ own risks,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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