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Mitogen responses of lymphocytes from lung transplant recipients--correlation with rejection and infection.
R J Keenan; M E Uknis; S M Pham; K Spichty; R J Duquesnoy; B P Griffith; A Zeevi (Profiled Author: Bartley P Griffith)
Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261.
Proliferative responses to nonspecific mitogens were analyzed for 119 bronchoalveolar lavages and 108 concurrent peripheral blood samples from 35 lung transplant patients. The patients were classified at each time as normal, rejecting, or infected on the basis of trans-bronchial biopsy, culture results, clinical signs, and pulmonary function. During rejection episodes the bronchoalveolar lavage responses to concanavalin A and phytohemagglutinin were significantly increased (P less than 0.004 and P less than 0.006, respectively). The differences were less pronounced when rejection occurred within 30 days after bolus immunosuppressive therapy, either as immunoprophylaxis or as treatment for a previous rejection episode, and were not significantly different from normal. Differences in response during rejection were limited to the graft; analysis of circulating T cells was not helpful (P = NS). In contrast, markedly depressed responses to Con A and PHA were seen during infection. Significant differences were observed both in the graft (P less than 0.007) and in circulating lymphocytes (P less than 0.02), suggesting that global depression of mitogen response is associated with immunocompromise. Sequential analysis of 6 patients showed that individual changes in mitogen response paralleled those seen in the population (P less than 0.046, normal vs. rejection and P less than 0.043 normal). These findings suggest that mitogen assays of bronchoalveolar lavage lymphocytes and, to a lesser extent, PBL, are clinically useful in assessing intragraft immunocompetence and in distinguishing rejection from infection in lung transplant patients.
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