Vascular deposition of complement-split products in kidney allografts with cell-mediated rejection

Clin Exp Immunol. 1991 Dec;86(3):464-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.1991.tb02954.x.


Complement activation in 73 renal transplant biopsies was investigated by indirect immunoperoxidase staining using MoAbs reactive with complement-split products. Intense deposition of complement fragments C4d and C3d in peritubular capillaries, indicating activation of the classical pathway, could be detected in the majority of transplanted kidneys with cell-mediated rejections. Abundant deposition of complement-split products was observed in 22 early biopsies from patients with high 'immunological risk' (i.e. previous, rejected transplants and/or circulating antibodies against HLA-antigens). Despite negative results in the crossmatch before transplantation and paucity of immunoglobulins in transplant biopsies, antibodies directed against endothelial cell antigens should be considered as a possible cause of classical complement activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Biopsy
  • Capillaries / immunology*
  • Complement Activation*
  • Complement C4 / analysis
  • Complement C4b*
  • Cyclosporine / adverse effects
  • Glomerulonephritis / immunology
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular*
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Ischemia / immunology
  • Kidney / blood supply*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology*
  • Peptide Fragments / analysis
  • Transplantation, Homologous / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Complement C4
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Complement C4b
  • complement C4d
  • Cyclosporine