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Sunday 01 August 2004

Pronase treatment facilitates alloantibody flow cytometric and cytotoxic crossmatching in the presence of rituximab.

By: Bearden CM, Agarwal A, Book BK, Sidner RA, Gebel HM, Bray RA, Pescovitz MD.

Hum Immunol 2004 Aug;65(8):803-9

Rituximab (RIT), a murine/human chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against human CD20 is under investigation for its role in transplantation. RIT causes B-cell crossmatches to appear positive. Pronase, a proteolytic enzyme that targets F(c) receptors removes CD20 from B cells. After CD20 is removed, RIT should not bind, making it possible to detect class I or class II antibodies on treated B cells. In this study, we incubated RIT with normal human serum (NHS, negative control) or pooled sera from highly sensitized (>50% panel reactive antibody, HLA+) subjects awaiting renal transplantation (positive control) and then performed B-cell flow cytometric crossmatches using untreated or pronase treated B cells as targets. We observed that untreated B cells incubated with RIT-spiked NHS displayed a significant increase in surface fluorescence compared with NHS without RIT, similar to the fluorescence that occurs with a positive crossmatch. In contrast, when CD20 was cleaved from the B cells with pronase, B cells displayed a negative crossmatch with the RIT-spiked NHS. In addition, there was no change in the crossmatches of pooled high panel reactive antibody (PRA) sera after pronase treatment. RIT could be used without worry about losing the ability to perform transplant immunologic monitoring.

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