Kidney transplantation entails a high likelihood of endothelial injury. The endothelium is a target of choice for injury by ischemia-reperfusion, alloantibodies, and autoantibodies. A certain degree of ischemia-reperfusion injury inevitably occurs in the immediate posttransplant setting and can manifest as delayed graft function. Acute rejection episodes, whether T-cell or antibody-mediated, can involve the graft micro- and macrovasculature, leading to endothelial injury and adverse long-term consequences on graft function and survival. In turn, caspase-3 activation in injured and dying endothelial cells favors the release of extracellular vesicles (apoptotic bodies and apoptotic exosome-like vesicles) that further enhance autoantibody production, complement deposition, and microvascular rarefaction. In this review, we present the evidence for endothelial injury, its causes and long-term consequences on graft outcomes in the field of kidney transplantation.
Keywords: alloantibodies; apoptosis; autoantibodies; endothelial injury; kidney transplantation; necroptosis.