Clinical relevance of lung-restricted antibodies in lung transplantation

Hum Immunol. 2019 Aug;80(8):595-601. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2019.04.016. Epub 2019 May 8.


Lung transplant is a definitive treatment for several end-stage lung diseases. However, the high incidence of allograft rejection limits the overall survival following lung transplantation. Traditionally, alloimmunity directed against human leukocyte antigens (HLA) has been implicated in transplant rejection. Recently, the clinical impact of non-HLA lung-restricted antibodies (LRA) has been recognized and extensive research has demonstrated that they may play a dominant role in the development of lung allograft rejection. The immunogenic lung-restricted antigens that have been identified include amongst others, collagen type I, collagen type V, and k-alpha 1 tubulin. Pre-existing antibodies against these lung-restricted antigens are prevalent in patients undergoing lung transplantation and have emerged as one of the predominant risk factors for primary graft dysfunction which limits short-term survival following lung transplantation. Additionally, LRA have been shown to predispose to chronic lung allograft rejection, the predominant cause of poor long-term survival. This review will discuss ongoing research into the mechanisms of development of LRA as well as the pathogenesis of associated lung allograft injury.

Keywords: Antibodies; Lung transplant; Rejection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / metabolism*
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Autoimmunity
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / immunology*
  • Collagen Type I / immunology
  • Collagen Type V / immunology
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lung / immunology*
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Tubulin / immunology


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • Collagen Type I
  • Collagen Type V
  • TUBA1A protein, human
  • Tubulin