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BACKGROUND: Acute rejection after renal transplantation has been shown to be negatively associated with long-term graft survival. Identifying donor factors that are associated with acute rejection in the recipient could help to a better understanding of the relevant underlying processes that lead to graft injury. Complement activation has been shown to be an important mediator of renal transplant related injury. In this study, we analyzed the effect of systemic complement activation in deceased donors before transplantation of their kidneys on posttransplant outcome in the recipient. METHODS: Plasma from 232 deceased brain-dead and deceased cardiac-dead donors were analyzed for the complement activation markers C5b-9, C4d, Bb, and complement component mannan binding lectin by ELISA. The association of these parameters with posttransplant outcome in recipients was analyzed in a multivariate regression model. RESULTS: It was found that C5b-9 level in donor plasma is associated with biopsy-proven acute rejection in the recipient during the first year after renal transplantation (P = 0.035). Both in deceased brain-dead and deceased cardiac-dead donors increased complement activation was found. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, we found C5b-9 in the donor to be associated with acute rejection of renal transplants in the recipient. Whether targeting complement activation in the donor may ameliorate acute rejection in the recipient needs to be studied.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





163 - 169


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Biomarkers, Brain Death, Child, Complement C4b, Complement Factor B, Complement Membrane Attack Complex, Death, Female, Graft Rejection, Humans, Kidney Transplantation, Male, Mannose-Binding Lectin, Middle Aged, Peptide Fragments, Predictive Value of Tests, ROC Curve, Retrospective Studies, Tissue Donors, Transplantation, Young Adult