The role of HLA-DP mismatches and donor specific HLA-DP antibodies in kidney transplantation: a case series

Transpl Immunol. 2021 Apr;65:101287 doi: 10.1016/j.trim.2020.101287.

The impact of HLA-DP mismatches on renal allograft outcome is still poorly understood and is suggested to be less than that of the other HLA loci. The common association of HLA-DP donor-specific antibodies (DSA) with other DSA obviates the evaluation of the actual effect of HLA-DP DSA.


From a large multicenter data collection, we retrospectively evaluated the significance of HLA-DP DSA on transplant outcome and the immunogenicity of HLA-DP eplet mismatches with respect to the induction of HLA-DP DSA. Furthermore, we evaluated the association between the MFI of HLA-DP antibodies detected in Luminex assays and the outcome of flowcytometric/complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) crossmatches.


In patients with isolated pretransplant HLA-DP antibodies (N = 13), 6 experienced antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) and 3 patients lost their graft. In HLAMatchmaker analysis of HLA-DP mismatches (N = 72), HLA-DP DSA developed after cessation of immunosuppression in all cases with 84DEAV (N = 14), in 86% of cases with 85GPM (N = 6/7), in 50% of cases with 56E (N = 6/12) and in 40% of cases with 56A mismatch (N = 2/5). Correlation analysis between isolated HLA-DP DSA MFI and crossmatches (N = 90) showed negative crossmatch results with HLA-DP DSA MFI <2000 (N = 14). Below an MFI of 10,000 CDC crossmatches were also negative (N = 33). Above these MFI values both positive (N = 35) and negative (N = 16) crossmatch results were generated.


Isolated HLA-DP DSA are rare, yet constitute a significant risk for AMR. We identified high-risk eplet mismatches that can lead to HLA-DP DSA formation. We therefore recommend HLA-DP typing to perform HLA-DP DSA analysis before transplantation. HLA-DP DSA with high MFI were not always correlated with positive crossmatch results.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Case Series / Case Control / Cohort
KEYWORDS: Crossmatch.; Eplets.; HLA-DP antibodies; Human leukocyte antigen.; Renal transplantation.
MESH HEADINGS: Graft Rejection; HLA Antigens; HLA-DP Antigens; Histocompatibility Testing; Humans; Isoantibodies; Kidney Transplantation; Retrospective Studies; Tissue Donors