Soluble donor DNA concentrations in recipient serum correlate with pancreas-kidney rejection

Clin Chem. 2006 Mar;52(3):379-82. doi: 10.1373/clinchem.2005.058974. Epub 2006 Jan 5.


Background: There is no reliable serum marker available to monitor incipient pancreas or islet-cell rejection. We tested the hypothesis that quantification of donor-specific genomic DNA in serum (from tissue damage) can serve as a marker of rejection.

Methods: Using a recently developed panel of HLA-specific quantitative PCR assays (Q-PCR), we tested 158 sera from 42 pancreas-kidney transplant recipients. Temporally related biopsies for 65 sera permitted analysis for correlation of donor DNA concentrations with rejection.

Results: Donor DNA concentrations were higher in sera from recipients who had experienced allograft rejection (n = 31) than from those who had not (n = 34). Median concentrations, expressed as the genome-equivalent (gEq) number of donor cells per 10(6) host cells, were 2613 and 59 gEq/10(6), respectively (P = 0.03).

Conclusion: Q-PCR for donor-specific genetic polymorphisms merits further investigation as a noninvasive approach to monitor pancreas-kidney as well as other types of allograft rejection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • DNA / blood*
  • Graft Rejection / diagnosis*
  • HLA Antigens / genetics
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreas Transplantation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Serum
  • Solubility
  • Tissue Donors
  • Transplantation Chimera / genetics*
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Biomarkers
  • HLA Antigens
  • DNA