Donor cell induced CD69 expression and intracellular IL-2 and IL-4 production by peripheral blood lymphocytes isolated from kidney transplant recipients

T. G. Paglieroni, Richard V Perez, S. Katznelson, K. Muto, T. Chang, S. Scott, M. R. MacKenzie, P. V. Holland

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12 Scopus citations


Flow cytometry assays, which measure CD69 activation and intracellular cytokine production, have been used to measure peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) responses to in vitro antigen exposure. In the present study, we show that, in healthy individuals and immunosuppressed kidney transplant recipients, CD69 expression and intracellular cytokine production by peripheral blood T cells compare favorably to thymidine uptake as a measure of PBL response to alloantigen in mixed leukocyte culture (MLC). Heparinized whole blood from 23 healthy individuals was incubated for 24-48 h with 3rd party allogeneic monocytes; blood from twelve kidney transplant recipients was incubated with monocytes from their kidney donor and with monocytes from unrelated individuals. The percentage of T cells expressing surface CD69 or intracellular IL-2 or IL-4 was determined by 3-color flow cytometry. We identified 5 donor-specific response patterns in our kidney transplant group. One transplant recipient was hyporesponsive; his cells did not express CD69 or produce IL-2 in response to either donor or 3rd party allogeneic cells. All other transplant recipients expressed CD69 and IL-2 in response to 3rd party allogeneic cells. Two had no response to donor cells (donor-specific hyporesponsiveness), three had donor-specific anergy (CD69 expression without cytokine production in response to donor cells), five had a donor-specific Th1 response (CD69 expression and IL-2 production in response to donor cells), and one had a donor-specific Th2 response (CD69 expression and IL-4 but not IL-2 production in response to donor cells). Rapid measures of donor- specific hyporesponsiveness such as CD69 activation antigen expression and intracellular cytokine production may prove valuable in monitoring lymphocyte function and aid in the long-term management of kidney transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-56
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999



  • CD69
  • Donor-specific responses
  • Intracellular cytokines
  • MLC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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