New treatment for antibody-mediated rejection: interleukin-6 inhibitors

Clin Transplant Res. 2024 Mar 31;38(1):1-6. doi: 10.4285/ctr.23.0069.


Following kidney transplantation, antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) occurs when the antibodies of the immune system attack the transplanted organ, leading to damage of the kidney tissue. De novo human leukocyte antigen donor-specific antibodies (HLA-DSAs) play a key role in AMR. Current therapeutic approaches include intravenous immunoglobulin, anti-CD20 antibodies, and plasmapheresis. In cases resistant to treatment, proteasome inhibitors and C5 inhibitors may be employed. Nevertheless, a pressing need exists for new medications to improve transplant survival and reduce complications. In the context of AMR, interleukin (IL)-6 is instrumental in the development and maturation of B cells into plasma cells, which then produce HLA-DSAs targeting the allograft. IL-6 inhibitors are currently under investigation and show promise due to the essential role of IL-6 in the immune response; however, additional research is necessary.

Keywords: Antibody; Interleukin-6; Kidney transplantation; Rejection.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

Funding/Support This study was supported by research grant from the Korean Society for Transplantation (2024-00-03001-001).