Analyses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in operational tolerance after pediatric living donor liver transplantation.
Li Y., Koshiba T., Yoshizawa A., Yonekawa Y., Masuda K., Ito A., Ueda M., Mori T., Kawamoto H., Tanaka Y., Sakaguchi S., Minato N., Wood KJ., Tanaka K.
Operational tolerance (graft acceptance in an immunosuppression (IS)-free environment) after living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT) could occur by our elective protocol in some patients. There is, nevertheless, no reliable parameter to monitor patients who may discontinue IS without a risk of rejection. To identify such parameters, we systemically phenotyped peripheral blood mononuclear cells from operationally tolerant patients. An increase was observed in the frequency of CD4+CD25high+ cells, B cells and Vdelta1/Vdelta2 gammadeltaT-cells ratio in operationally tolerant patients (Gr-tol; n = 12), compared with those from age-matched volunteers (Gr-vol; n = 24) or patients on IS (Gr-IS; n = 19). The frequency of NK cells was decreased in Gr-tol, compared with those in Gr-IS or Gr-vol. The frequency of NKT cells was decreased after LDLT, compared with that in Gr-vol. Although the contribution of those subsets to the tolerant state remains elusive, the results may provide important clues for reliable indicators of tolerance after LDLT.