Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD) represent a severe complication in transplanted patients and Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is the main driver. Besides immunodepression, immune activation/chronic inflammation play an important role in both virus reactivation and expansion of EBV-positive B cells. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of immunosuppressive strategies on factors involved in the PTLD's pathogenesis. 124 kidney transplanted patients were enrolled in this study: 71 were treated with mycophenolic acid (MPA) and 53 treated with mTOR inhibitor (mTORi), both in combination with different doses of calcineurin inhibitor. At the time of the transplant (T0), profile of inflammation/immune activation and immune senescence didn't differ between the two groups, but after one year of treatment (T1) markers were significantly higher in MPA-treated patients; their immunosenescence process was supported by the greater erosion of telomeres despite their younger age. Percentages of activated B cells and levels of EBV-DNA significantly increased in MPA-treated patients, and at T1 were significantly higher in MPA- than in mTORi-treated patients. Overall, these findings indicate that mTOR inhibitors constrain the inflammation/immune activation and senescence status, thus reducing the expansion of EBV-infected B cells and the risk of virus-associated PTLD in kidney transplant recipients.
Keywords: EBV; Immune senescence; Inflammation/immune activation; Kidney transplant; mTORi.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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