Humoral Human Lung Allograft Rejection by Tissue-Restricted Non-HLA Antibodies

Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Oct;102(4):e339-41. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.03.042.


A third of lung recipients have preexisting antibodies against nonhuman leukocyte self-antigens (nHAbs) present in the lung tissue. These nHAbs also form de novo in about 70% of patients within 3 years after transplantation. Both preexisting and de novo nHAbs can cause murine lung allograft dysfunction. However, their role in human transplantation remains unclear. We report hyperacute rejection after right lung transplant in a recipient with preexisting nHAbs. The recipient of the left lung from the same donor had an uneventful initial course, but de novo nHAbs developed at 3 weeks, leading to acute humoral rejection. Both patients were successfully treated with antibody-directed therapies.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Allografts
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • Graft Survival
  • HLA Antigens / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Lung Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Lung Transplantation / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sampling Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Autoantibodies
  • HLA Antigens