Cherukuri A, Salama AD, Carter CR, Landsittel D, Arumugakani G, Clark B, Rothstein DM and Baker RJ. Reduced Human Transitional B cell T1/T2 Ratio Is Associated with Subsequent Deterioration in Renal Allograft Function. Kidney International. 2017;91(1):183-195. PMID: 28029430 DOI: 10.1016/j.kint.2016.08.028
Human transitional B cells express relatively high IL-10 and low TNF-α levels, which correlate with B regulatory activity in vitro. Herein, we aim to further define B regulatory phenotype and determine whether B regulatory activity can serve as a prognostic marker for renal allograft dysfunction (graft loss or 2-fold fall in estimated glomerular filtration rate). Transitional B cells can be divided into T1 and T2 subsets based on surface phenotype. T1 cells express a significantly higher ratio of IL-10 to TNF-α than T2 cells or other B subsets. When analyzed in 45 kidney transplant recipients at the time of late for-cause biopsy, the T1/T2 ratio was independently associated with allograft dysfunction over the next 5 years. Next, the T1/T2 ratio was examined in an independent set of 97 clinically stable kidney transplant recipients 2 years after transplant. Again, the T1/T2 ratio was strongly and independently associated with allograft dysfunction over the ensuing 5 years. In these clinically quiescent patients, a low T1/T2 ratio identified a 41-patient subgroup in which 35% developed allograft dysfunction, with 25% losing their allografts. However, none of the 56 patients with a high ratio developed graft dysfunction. In both the initial study and validation groups, the T1/T2 ratio was a much stronger predictor of graft dysfunction than donor-specific antibodies or the estimated glomerular filtration rate. Thus, the T1/T2 ratio, a relative measure of expressing an anti-inflammatory cytokine profile, is a novel prognostic marker that might inform individualized immunosuppression.