Post-transplant Alternative Complement Pathway Activation Influences Kidney Allograft Function

Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2019 Jun;67(3):171-177. doi: 10.1007/s00005-019-00541-w. Epub 2019 Apr 26.


The complement system is one of the crucial pathophysiological mechanisms that directly influence the function of a transplanted kidney. Since the complement pathways' activation potential can be easily determined via their functional activity measurement, we focused on fluctuation in the cascade activity in the early post-transplant period. The aim of the study was to relate the kidney transplantation-induced complement system response to allograft outcome. Forty-two kidney recipients (aged: 53.5 [37-52], 17 females/25 males) and 24 healthy controls (aged: 40.5 [34-51], 13 females/11 males) were enrolled in the study. The functional activities of alternative, classical, and lectin pathways were determined before and in the first week after transplantation using Wielisa®-kit. We observed that the baseline functional activity of the alternative pathway (AP) was higher in chronic kidney disease patients awaiting transplantation compared to healthy controls and that its level depended on the type of dialysis. AP-functional activity was decreased following transplantation procedure and its post-transplant level was related to allograft function. The baseline and transplantation-induced functional activities of the classical and lectin pathways were not influenced by dialysis type and were not associated with transplant outcome. Moreover, our study showed that intraoperative graft surface cooling had a protective effect on AP activation. Our study confirms the influence of dialysis modality on persistent AP complement activation and supports the role of AP in an early phase after kidney transplantation and allograft outcome.

Keywords: Alternative pathway; Functional complement activity; Kidney recipients; Kidney transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Allografts / immunology
  • Allografts / physiopathology
  • Complement Pathway, Alternative / immunology*
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • Graft Rejection / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Kidney / immunology
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Kidney Transplantation / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Transplantation, Homologous / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome