Noninvasive methods to assess immune activation would be helpful in optimizing therapy after heart transplantation to reduce rejection (acute and chronic) and complications caused by excessive immunosuppressive therapy. Intercellular adhesion molecule 1 has been shown to play an important role in T-cell activation and allograft rejection. A soluble form of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 has been discovered to be circulating in plasma. To test the hypothesis that increased levels of circulating intercellular adhesion molecule 1 may have prognostic value as a marker of immune activation, we examined whether levels of circulating intercellular adhesion molecule 1 during the early postoperative period correlated with endomyocardial biopsy scores, soluble interleukin-2 receptor levels, human leukocyte antigen mismatch, and survival. For the first 3 weeks after surgery, serum was obtained once weekly on the same day as endomyocardial biopsy samples from 52 patients who survived more than 30 days after heart transplantation. A sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure circulating intercellular adhesion molecule 1 and soluble interleukin-2 receptor. Increased circulating intercellular adhesion molecule 1 levels did not correlate with endomyocardial biopsy scores but were associated with greater mismatch at the human leukocyte antigen-B and -DR loci (p = 0.02). A significant correlation was found (p = 0.002) between circulating intercellular adhesion molecule 1 levels and soluble interleukin-2 receptor, albeit with a low r value of 0.27. Survival was reduced in patients with high levels of circulating intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (p = 0.006) or soluble interleukin-2 receptor (p = 0.001) with the greatest reduction in survival when both were elevated. This is the first study that has examined whether increased levels of circulating intercellular adhesion molecule 1 after heart transplantation correlate with clinical parameters of immune activation. These initial findings raise the important question of whether noninvasive tests to assess immune activation such as circulating intercellular adhesion molecule 1 and soluble interleukin-2 receptor could be used clinically to modulate immunosuppressive therapy or to alter the frequency of endomyocardial biopsy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation|
|State||Published - 1994|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine