Dendritic cell deficiency associated with development of BK viremia and nephropathy in renal transplant recipients

Karl L. Womer, Yanfei Huang, Heather Herren, Kourosh Dibadj, Ruihua Peng, Matthew Murawski, Renata Shraybman, Pamela Patton, Michael J. Clare-Salzler, Bruce Kaplan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    36 Scopus citations


    BACKGROUND: BK virus nephropathy (BKVN) is a significant cause of renal allograft loss. Although overall intensity of immunosuppression is the greatest risk factor, recipient immune factors likely also play a role in the pathogenesis. Dendritic cells (DC) are potent antigen-presenting cells important for the induction of anti-viral cytotoxic T-cell responses. In a previous univariate analysis, we demonstrated a peripheral blood DC (PBDC) deficiency in patients with biopsy-proven BKVN, raising the possibility that reduction in DC predisposed to BK reactivation. METHODS: In this study, we refined our previous analysis by comparing random posttransplant PBDC levels between an expanded group of patients with BKVN and controls without viremia using a multivariate analysis that accounted for factors known to influence PBDC levels. Next, we compared pretransplant PBDC levels between patients stratified by the presence or absence of posttransplant viremia. Finally, we assessed the predictive value of pretransplant PBDC levels for the development of posttransplant viremia. RESULTS: Analyses revealed a PBDC level deficiency not only posttransplant in patients with BKVN but also pretransplant in patients who subsequently developed posttransplant BK viremia. Furthermore, we identified a pretransplant PBDC level that is a reasonable predictor for the development of posttransplant viremia. CONCLUSIONS: Our results identify PBDC deficiency as a previously unrecognized risk factor for BKV reactivation after renal transplantation. Pretransplant PBDC monitoring may prove to be a useful clinical tool in the assessment of patient vulnerability to BKVN posttransplant, which may allow more focused screening. copyright

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)115-123
    Number of pages9
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


    • Antigen-presenting cells
    • BK virus nephropathy
    • Dendritic cells
    • Kidney transplantation.

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Transplantation


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