De novo donor-specific antibody at the time of kidney transplant biopsy associates with microvascular pathology and late graft failure

Am J Transplant. 2009 Nov;9(11):2532-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2009.02800.x.


We studied whether de novo donor-specific antibodies (DSA) in sera from patients undergoing kidney transplant biopsies associate with specific histologic lesions in the biopsy and prognosis. DSA were assessed in 145 patients at the time of biopsy between 7 days to 31 years posttransplant. DSA was detected in 54 patients (37%), of which 32 represented de novo DSA. De novo DSA was more frequent in patients having late biopsies (34%) versus early biopsies (4%), and was usually either against class II alone or class I and II but rarely against class I alone. Microcirculation inflammation (glomerulitis, capillaritis) and damage (glomuerulopathy, capillary basement membrane multilayering), and C4d staining were associated with de novo DSA. However, the degree of scarring, arterial fibrosis and tubulo-interstitial inflammation did not correlate with the presence of de novo DSA. De novo DSA correlated with reduced graft survival after the biopsy. Thus, de novo DSA at the time of a late biopsy for clinical indication is primarily against class II, and associates with microcirculation changes in the biopsy and subsequent graft failure. We propose careful assessment of de novo DSA, particularly against class II, be performed in all late kidney transplant biopsies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Specificity
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Biopsy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Complement C4b / immunology
  • Delayed Graft Function / immunology*
  • Delayed Graft Function / pathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Graft Survival / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology*
  • Male
  • Microcirculation / immunology
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Proteinuria / immunology
  • Proteinuria / pathology
  • Renal Circulation / immunology
  • Vasculitis / immunology
  • Vasculitis / pathology


  • Autoantibodies
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Complement C4b
  • complement C4d