Transcriptomic heterogeneity of antibody mediated rejection after heart transplant with or without donor specific antibodies

Benjamin S. Mantell, Hector Cordero, Sarah B. See, Kevin J. Clerkin, Rodica Vasilescu, Charles C. Marboe, Yoshifumi Naka, Susan Restaino, Paolo C. Colombo, Linda J. Addonizio, Maryjane A. Farr, Emmanuel Zorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Antibody mediated rejection (AMR) is an increasingly studied cause of graft failure after heart transplantation. AMR diagnosis previously required the detection of circulating donor specific antibodies (DSA); however, the most recent criteria only require pathological findings. This classification defined a subset of patients with AMR, yet without known antibodies. Here, we sought to evaluate differences in the transcriptome profile associated with different types of AMR. Methods: RNA sequencing was used on endomyocardial biopsies to analyze and compare transcriptomic profiles associated with different subtypes of AMR defined by immunopathological and histopathological findings, as well as the presence or absence of DSA. Gene expression profiles were characterized for each diagnostic group. Results: The most divergent gene expression profiles were observed between patients with or without DSA. AMR subtypes associated with DSA showed expression of signature genes involved in monocyte activation and response to interferon. There was also substantial difference between the transcriptomic profiles of AMR defined by histopathological and immunopathological findings, the latter being associated with expression of mucin genes. In contrast, there was no differential RNA expression between patients with pAMR1i without DSA and those without AMR. Likewise, no differential expression was observed between patients with pAMR1h with DSA and pAMR2. Conclusions: Overall, our studies reveal different expression profiles in endomyocardial biopsies in relation to some key criteria used to diagnose AMR. These findings support the view that the diagnosis of AMR encompasses several phenotypes that may rely on distinct mechanisms of injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1472-1480
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibody Mediated Rejection
  • Donor Specific Antibodies
  • Heart Transplant
  • RNA sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation


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