Detection of HLA-G in serum and graft biopsy associated with fewer acute rejections following combined liver-kidney transplantation: possible implications for monitoring patients

Hum Immunol. 2003 Nov;64(11):1033-8. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2003.08.356.


Human leukocyte antigen G (HLA-G) is a regulatory molecule that is expressed in the cytotrophoblast during implantation and is thought to allow the tolerance and the development of the semiallogeneic embryo. In vitro, HLA-G inhibits natural killer (NK) cell and CD8 T-cell cytotoxicity. HLA-G also decreases CD4 T-cell expansion. This suggests that it participates in the acceptance of allogeneic organ transplants in humans. We here describe the detection of high concentration of HLA-G in serum from liver-kidney transplant patients, but not in kidney transplant patients. This finding is supported by the ectopic expression of HLA-G in graft biopsies. Finally, its association with a low number of acute transplant rejections, especially in liver-kidney transplant patients led us to propose that HLA-G may serve to monitor transplant patients who are likely to accept their allograft and, thus, may benefit of a reduced immunosuppressive treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Biopsy
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control
  • Graft Survival / immunology*
  • HLA Antigens / analysis*
  • HLA Antigens / blood
  • HLA Antigens / immunology
  • HLA-G Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / analysis*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / blood
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology
  • Humans
  • Kidney / immunology*
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Liver / immunology*
  • Liver Transplantation / immunology*
  • Transplants


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • HLA Antigens
  • HLA-G Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I