Cytokine analysis of human renal allograft aspiration biopsy cultures supernatants predicts acute rejection

Gerardo Oliveira, Paula Xavier, Barbara Murphy, Sandra Neto, Armando Mendes, Mohamed H. Sayegh, Levi E. Guerra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background. A Th1 response is said to be associated with transplant rejection and Th2 with tolerance, although this is not agreed by all. Cytokines evaluation in peripheral blood and urine in kidney transplants produces variable results. We hypothesized that measurement of major cytokines involved in Th1/Th2 paradigm on transplant renal-infiltrating cells could bring valuable scientific and clinical information. Methods. Fifty-six adult cadaver kidney transplants were subdivided into 21 stable patients (group A), 22 suffering acute rejection (group B), 10 with chronic rejection (group C) and three with CMV disease (group D). Fine-needle aspiration biopsies were cultured and their supernatants analysed for IL-2, IL-4, IL-10 and IFN-γ. Results. Group A produced small amounts of both IL-2 and IL-10 while group B synthetized significantly higher IL-2 and significantly lower IL-10 amounts than group A. Group B produced significantly more IL-2 than A on day 7 post-transplantation, several days before rejection supervened. Group C produced IL-10 and very low amount of IL-2. Group D produced both IL-2 and IL-10. We did not find any IL-4, and IFN-γ was present in a few samples. For IL-2, sensitivity, specificity, negative and positive predictive values for acute rejection were 100, 87.2, 94.7 and 83.3%, respectively. Conclusions. Cytokine analysis in fine-needle aspiration biopsy cultures supernatants is a very useful immunological screening method for kidney transplants. IL-2 synthesis on day 7 post-transplantation reliably predicted the risk of impending acute rejection during the first weeks. The cytokine pattern suggests that acute rejection is associated with Th1, stable patients with Th0/Th2, and chronic rejection with Th2 patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-422
Number of pages6
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • FNAB
  • Interleukins
  • Lymphoctyes
  • Rejection
  • T helper
  • Tolerance
  • Transplantation


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