Association of soluble HLA-G with acute rejection episodes and early development of bronchiolitis obliterans in lung transplantation

PLoS One. 2014 Jul 28;9(7):e103643. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103643. eCollection 2014.


Lung transplantation has evolved into a life-saving therapy for select patients with end-stage lung diseases. However, long-term survival remains limited because of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). Soluble HLA-G, a mediator of adaptive immunity that modulates regulatory T cells and certain classes of effector T cells, may be a useful marker of survival free of BOS. We conducted a retrospective, single-center, pilot review of 38 lung transplant recipients who underwent collection of serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid 3, 6 and 12 months after transplantation, and compared soluble HLA-G concentrations in each to the presence of type A rejection and lymphocytic bronchiolitis in the first 12 months and to the presence of BOS at 24 months after transplantation. Lung soluble HLA-G concentrations were directly related to the presence of type A rejection but not to lymphocytic bronchiolitis. Our data demonstrate that soluble HLA-G concentrations in bronchoalveolar lavage but not in serum correlates with the number of acute rejection episodes in the first 12 months after lung transplantation, and thus may be a reactive marker of rejection.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / diagnosis*
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / etiology
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / immunology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / immunology
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / diagnosis*
  • Graft Rejection / etiology
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • HLA-G Antigens / analysis*
  • HLA-G Antigens / blood
  • HLA-G Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lung Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Lung Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / immunology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Solubility
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • HLA-G Antigens