Vimentin antibodies: a non-HLA antibody as a potential risk factor in renal transplantation

Transplant Proc. 2005 Mar;37(2):654-7. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2004.12.043.


Chronic allograft rejection is the major problem encountered in solid organ transplantation and is the end point of several complex processes. A number of recent studies show both alloimmune and autoimmune responses may have roles to play. The importance of HLA antibodies in transplantation is well documented, but despite the introduction of very sensitive HLA screening assays, antibody-mediated allograft rejection still occurs without detectable HLA antibodies. The target for antibody-mediated allograft rejection in these circumstances remains elusive, perhaps due to the variety of potential targets presented on endothelial cells. Recent studies identifying C4d and immunoglobulin deposits in patients undergoing late allograft loss provide evidence that chronic rejection involves humoral as well as cellular components. Several endothelial cell antigens that might be important in chronic rejection have been suggested, including MHC class I chain-related genes; Lewis; and the intermediate filament protein, vimentin. Vimentin is an ideal candidate antigen for antibody-mediated rejection as it is found in endothelial cells and is exposed to the immune system following surgery or by chronic allograft rejection due to endothelial cell breakdown, where the development of antibodies may cause further damage. We have developed a flow cytometric assay for the detection of antibodies to vimentin and have investigated whether HLA or vimentin antibodies are present in renal transplant recipients undergoing chronic rejection.

MeSH terms

  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • HLA-D Antigens / blood
  • HLA-D Antigens / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / blood
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Isoantibodies / blood
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology*
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Treatment Failure
  • Vimentin / immunology*


  • HLA-D Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Isoantibodies
  • Vimentin