Despite the best efforts by experts to match kidney donors and recipients, using well-established protocols, some of these transplants fail. Researchers from the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons believe they may have discovered a new piece of the puzzle that will help explain this phenomenon.
Organ donors and recipients are matched based on their human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) which are proteins found on the surface of cells and assist the immune system in detecting which cells are foreign. Mismatching HLAs between two people can lead to transplant rejections, but this doesn’t explain all cases of organ rejection. The research team believes that a kidney gene LIMS1, with a deleted section, may play a role. The immune system of a patient with the deletion who receives a kidney from a donor without the deletion identifies the organ as a foreign body which leads to rejection of the kidney.
Further studies are required to confirm these findings; however, this new information could provide a new piece of evidence to support pre-transplant genetic screening in the future, which in turn could lead to more precise matching between donors and recipients and help to reduce the rate of kidney transplant rejections in the future. It may also be applicable to other types of organ transplants.
Source: Science Daily
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