Allo-Specific Humoral Responses: New Methods for Screening Donor-Specific Antibody and Characterization of HLA-Specific Memory B Cells.

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Antibody-mediated allograft rejection (AMR) causes more kidney transplant failure than any other single cause. AMR is mediated by antibodies recognizing antigens expressed by the graft, and antibodies generated against major histocompatibility complex (MHC) mismatches are especially problematic. Most research directed towards the management of clinical AMR has focused on identifying and characterizing circulating donor-specific HLA antibody (DSA) and optimizing therapies that reduce B-cell activation and/or block antibody secretion by inhibiting plasmacyte survival. Here we describe a novel set of reagents and techniques to allow more specific measurements of MHC sensitization across different animal transplant models. Additionally, we have used these approaches to isolate and clone individual HLA-specific B cells from patients sensitized by pregnancy or transplantation. We have identified and characterized the phenotypes of individual HLA-specific B cells, determined the V(D)J rearrangements of their paired H and L chains, and generated recombinant antibodies to determine affinity and specificity. Knowledge of the BCR genes of individual HLA-specific B cells will allow identification of clonally related B cells by high-throughput sequence analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and permit us to re-construct the origins of HLA-specific B cells and follow their somatic evolution by mutation and selection.





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Song, Shengli, Miriam Manook, Jean Kwun, Annette M Jackson, Stuart J Knechtle and Garnett Kelsoe (2021). Allo-Specific Humoral Responses: New Methods for Screening Donor-Specific Antibody and Characterization of HLA-Specific Memory B Cells. Frontiers in immunology, 12. p. 705140. 10.3389/fimmu.2021.705140 Retrieved from

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Jean Kwun

Associate Professor in Surgery

Research interests include humoral tolerance to organ transplants in animal model and humans, developing a clinically relevant animal model to study the mechanisms of antibody-mediated rejection (AMR), and establishing a conceptual basis that will translate into therapeutic intervention of AMR.


Annette M Jackson

Associate Professor in Surgery

Garnett H. Kelsoe

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Immunology
  1. Lymphocyte development and antigen-driven diversification of immunoglobulin and T cell antigen receptor genes.
    2. The germinal center reaction and mechanisms for clonal selection and self - tolerance. The origins of autoimmunity.
    3. Interaction of innate- and adaptive immunity and the role of inflammation in lymphoid organogenesis.
    4. The role of secondary V(D)J gene rearrangment in lymphocyte development and malignancies.
    5. Mathematical modeling of immune responses, DNA motifs, collaborations in bioinformatics.
    6. Humoral immunity to influenza and HIV-1.

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