Kidney transplantation is the preferred treatment option for many patients with end-stage kidney disease. The outcome of such a treatment is most optimal when recipient and donor are human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matched. HLA mismatches may cause activation of alloreactive T cells and can subsequently lead to the development of donor-specific HLA antibodies (DSA), which can induce antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR). T-cell help is of great importance in the formation of anti-HLA antibodies. Following recognition of epitopes derived from mismatched HLA via the indirect pathway, T-helper cells are able to stimulate B-cell proliferation and differentiation.
During this project we'll further look at the role of T-helper cells and T-cell epitopes in solid organ transplantation. Additionally, we'll look into the role of T memory cells, the binding of donor HLA-derived peptides to recipient HLA, and the immunogenicity of HLA epitopes.