Expression of complement components differs between kidney allografts from living and deceased donors

J Am Soc Nephrol. 2009 Aug;20(8):1839-51. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2008111145. Epub 2009 May 14.


A disparity remains between graft survival of renal allografts from deceased donors and from living donors. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie this disparity may allow the development of targeted therapies to enhance graft survival. Here, we used microarrays to examine whole genome expression profiles using tissue from 53 human renal allograft protocol biopsies obtained both at implantation and after transplantation. The gene expression profiles of living-donor kidneys and pristine deceased-donor kidneys (normal histology, young age) were significantly different before reperfusion at implantation. Deceased-donor kidneys exhibited a significant increase in renal expression of complement genes; posttransplantation biopsies from well-functioning, nonrejecting kidneys, regardless of donor source, also demonstrated a significant increase in complement expression. Peritransplantation phenomena, such as donor death and possibly cold ischemia time, contributed to differences in complement pathway gene expression. In addition, complement gene expression at the time of implantation was associated with both early and late graft function. These data suggest that complement-modulating therapy may improve graft outcomes in renal transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Biopsy
  • Brain Death
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cold Ischemia
  • Complement System Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Living Donors*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Transplants*
  • Young Adult


  • Complement System Proteins