Role of the eosinophil in chronic vascular rejection of renal allografts

Charles R. Nolan, Kristin P. Saenz, Charles A. Thomas, Kim D. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Obliterative arteriopathy in chronic renal allograft rejection is caused by intimal smooth muscle proliferation accompanied by infiltration of lymphocytes, monocytes, and eosinophils. We investigated the role of the eosinophil in chronic rejection. Twenty-four allograft nephrectomies were examined for the presence of eosinophils on hematoxylin-eosin-stained sections and using epifluorescence on Fisher-Giemsa-stained sections. Among 15 cases with chronic rejection, eosinophils were detected in 14 cases (93%) with epifluorescence compared with only six cases (40%) with hematoxylin-eosin staining (P = 0.005). With epifluorescence, eosinophils were identified in the intimal, adventitial, and tubulointerstitial compartments in 73%, 80%, and 87% of cases, respectively. To examine the pathogenic relevance of the eosinophils in the vessel wall, we investigated the effect of eosinophil-conditioned medium on DNA synthesis in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells. Autofluorescent eosinophils were isolated from atopic human donors using a fluorescence-activated cell sorter. Supernatant was collected from eosinophils (1 × 106/mL) cultured overnight in medium with 0.5% fetal bovine serum. Incorporation of 3H-thymidine into DNA was measured in rat and human vascular smooth muscle cells treated for 24 hours with eosinophil-conditioned medium at 1:20, 1:10, 1:5, and 1:2 dilutions. Eosinophil-conditioned medium had a significant dose-dependent stimulatory effect on DNA synthesis in both cell lines. Our results indicate that eosinophil involvement in chronic renal allograft rejection is more common than previously recognized. The stimulatory effect of eosinophil-conditioned medium on vascular smooth muscle cell DNA synthesis suggests that eosinophils may be involved in the pathogenesis of the obliterative arteriopathy characteristically seen in chronic vascular rejection of renal allografts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)634-642
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Eosinophil
  • chronic rejection
  • epifluorescence microscopy
  • thymidine incorporation
  • vascular smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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