Lymphoid-Like Structures with Distinct B Cell Areas in Kidney Allografts are not Predictive for Graft Rejection. A Non-human Primate Study.

PMID 26140903


Kidney allograft biopsies were analyzed for the presence of B cell clusters/aggregates using CD20 staining. Few B cells were found in the diffuse interstitial infiltrates, but clusters of B cells were found in nodular infiltrates. These nodular infiltrates were smaller shortly after transplantation, and their size increased over time. At the time of clinical rejection, the nodules often presented as tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) with lymphoid-like follicles. The presence of small B cell clusters during the first 2 months after transplantation was not associated with early rejection. Even in animals that did not reject their allograft, TLS-like structures were present and could disappear over time. Although TLS were more often found in samples with interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy (IFTA), TLS were also present in samples without IFTA. The presence and density of clusters resembling tertiary lymphoid structures most likely reflect an ongoing immune response inside the graft and do not necessarily signify a poor graft outcome or IFTA.