Publications by authors named "Debra Kukuruga"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Genomic characterization of MICA gene using multiple next generation sequencing platforms: A validation study.

HLA 2020 10 21;96(4):430-444. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

We have developed a protocol regarding the genomic characterization of the MICA gene by next generation sequencing (NGS). The amplicon includes the full length of the gene and is about 13 kb. A total of 156 samples were included in the study. Ninety-seven of these samples were previously characterized at MICA by legacy methods (Sanger or sequence specific oligonucleotide) and were used to evaluate the accuracy, precision, specificity, and sensitivity of the assay. An additional 59 DNA samples of unknown ethnicity volunteers from the United States were only genotyped by NGS. Samples were chosen to contain a diverse set of alleles. Our NGS approach included a first round of sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq platform and a second round of sequencing on the MinION platform by Oxford Nanopore Technology (ONT), on selected samples for the purpose of either characterizing new alleles or setting phase among multiple polymorphisms to resolve ambiguities or generate complete sequence for alleles that were only partially reported in the IMGT/HLA database. Complete consensus sequences were generated for every allele sequenced with ONT, extending from the 5' untranslated region (UTR) to the 3' UTR of the MICA gene. Thirty-two MICA sequences were submitted to the IMGT/HLA database including either new alleles or filling up the gaps (exonic, intronic and/or UTRs) of already reported alleles. Some of the challenges associated with the characterization of these samples are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tan.13998DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7589345PMC
October 2020

Cell-based reference samples designed with specific differences in microRNA biomarkers.

BMC Biotechnol 2018 03 20;18(1):17. Epub 2018 Mar 20.

Joint Initiative for Metrology in Biology, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 443 Via Ortega, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.

Background: We demonstrate the feasibility of creating a pair of reference samples to be used as surrogates for clinical samples measured in either a research or clinical laboratory setting. The reference sample paradigm presented and evaluated here is designed to assess the capability of a measurement process to detect true differences between two biological samples. Cell-based reference samples can be created with a biomarker signature pattern designed in silico. Clinical laboratories working in regulated applications are required to participate in proficiency testing programs; research laboratories doing discovery typically do not. These reference samples can be used in proficiency tests or as process controls that allow a laboratory to evaluate and optimize its measurement systems, monitor performance over time (process drift), assess changes in protocols, reagents, and/or personnel, maintain standard operating procedures, and most importantly, provide evidence for quality results.

Results: The biomarkers of interest in this study are microRNAs (miRNAs), small non-coding RNAs involved in the regulation of gene expression. Multiple lung cancer associated cell lines were determined by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR to have sufficiently different miRNA profiles to serve as components in mixture designs as reference samples. In silico models based on the component profiles were used to predict miRNA abundance ratios between two different cell line mixtures, providing target values for profiles obtained from in vitro mixtures. Two reference sample types were tested: total RNA mixed after extraction from cell lines, and intact cells mixed prior to RNA extraction. MicroRNA profiling of a pair of samples composed of extracted RNA derived from these cell lines successfully replicated the target values. Mixtures of intact cells from these lines also approximated the target values, demonstrating potential utility as mimics for clinical specimens. Both designs demonstrated their utility as reference samples for inter- or intra-laboratory testing.

Conclusions: Cell-based reference samples can be created for performance assessment of a measurement process from biomolecule extraction through quantitation. Although this study focused on miRNA profiling with RT-PCR using cell lines associated with lung cancer, the paradigm demonstrated here should be extendable to genome-scale platforms and other biomolecular endpoints.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12896-018-0423-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5859499PMC
March 2018

Summarizing performance for genome scale measurement of miRNA: reference samples and metrics.

BMC Genomics 2018 03 6;19(1):180. Epub 2018 Mar 6.

Joint Initiative for Metrology in Biology, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 443 Via Ortega, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.

Background: The potential utility of microRNA as biomarkers for early detection of cancer and other diseases is being investigated with genome-scale profiling of differentially expressed microRNA. Processes for measurement assurance are critical components of genome-scale measurements. Here, we evaluated the utility of a set of total RNA samples, designed with between-sample differences in the relative abundance of miRNAs, as process controls.

Results: Three pure total human RNA samples (brain, liver, and placenta) and two different mixtures of these components were evaluated as measurement assurance control samples on multiple measurement systems at multiple sites and over multiple rounds. In silico modeling of mixtures provided benchmark values for comparison with physical mixtures. Biomarker development laboratories using next-generation sequencing (NGS) or genome-scale hybridization assays participated in the study and returned data from the samples using their routine workflows. Multiplexed and single assay reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR) was used to confirm in silico predicted sample differences. Data visualizations and summary metrics for genome-scale miRNA profiling assessment were developed using this dataset, and a range of performance was observed. These metrics have been incorporated into an online data analysis pipeline and provide a convenient dashboard view of results from experiments following the described design. The website also serves as a repository for the accumulation of performance values providing new participants in the project an opportunity to learn what may be achievable with similar measurement processes.

Conclusions: The set of reference samples used in this study provides benchmark values suitable for assessing genome-scale miRNA profiling processes. Incorporation of these metrics into an online resource allows laboratories to periodically evaluate their performance and assess any changes introduced into their measurement process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-018-4496-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5838960PMC
March 2018

A Plasma Biomarker Panel to Identify Surgically Resectable Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2017 08;109(8)

Department of Translational Molecular Pathology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Background: Blood-based biomarkers for early detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) are urgently needed. Current biomarkers lack high sensitivity and specificity for population screening. The gold-standard biomarker, CA 19-9, also fails to demonstrate the predictive value necessary for early detection.

Methods: To validate a functional genomics-based plasma migration signature biomarker panel, plasma tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), tenascin C (TNC-FN III-C), and CA 19-9 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays in three early-stage PDAC plasma cohorts, including two independent blinded validation cohorts containing a total of 43 stage I, 163 stage II, 86 chronic pancreatitis, 31 acute biliary obstruction, and 108 controls. Logistic regression models developed classification rules combining TFPI and/or TNC-FN III-C with CA 19-9 for patient cases and control subjects, with or without adjustment for age and diabetes status. Model classification performance was evaluated and analyses repeated among subpopulations without diabetes and pancreatitis history. Two-sided P values were calculated using bootstrap method.

Results: The TFPI/TNC-FN III-C/CA 19-9 panel improved CA 19-9 performance in all early-stage cohorts, including discriminating stage IA/IB/IIA, stage IIB, and all early-stage cancer from healthy controls. Statistical significance was reached for a number of subcohorts, including for all early-stage cancer vs healthy controls (cohort 1 AUC = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.86 to 0.96, P  = .04; cohort 3 AUC = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.76 to 0.89, P  = .045). Among subcohorts without diabetes and pancreatitis history, the panel approaches potential clinical utility for early detection to discriminate early-stage PDAC from healthy controls including an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.87 (95% CI = 0.77 to 0.95) for stage I/IIA, an AUC of 0.93 (95% CI = 0.87 to 0.98) for stage IIB, and a statistically significant AUC of 0.89 (95% CI = 0.82 to 0.95) for all early-stage cancer ( P  = .03).

Conclusions: TFPI/TNC-FN III-C migration signature adds statistically significantly to CA 19-9's predictive power to detect early-stage PDAC and may have clinical utility for early detection of surgically resectable PDAC, as well as for enhanced survival from this routinely lethal cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djw341DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6059209PMC
August 2017

Early Microchimerism After Face Transplantation Detected by Quantitative Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction of Insertion/Deletion Polymorphisms.

Transplantation 2015 Jul;99(7):e44-5

1 Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. 2 Department of Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. 3 New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0000000000000745DOI Listing
July 2015

Donor-recipient human leukocyte antigen matching practices in vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation: a survey of major transplantation centers.

Plast Reconstr Surg 2014 Jul;134(1):121-129

Baltimore, Md.; and New York, N.Y. From the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center; the University of Maryland Medical Center, Laboratories of Pathology, Immunogenetics Laboratory; and the Department of Plastic Surgery and Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, New York University Langone Medical Center.

Background: Vascularized composite tissue allotransplant recipients are often highly sensitized to human leukocyte antigens because of multiple prior blood transfusions and other reconstructive operations. The use of peripheral blood obtained from dead donors for crossmatching may be insufficient because of life support measures taken for the donor before donation. No study has been published investigating human leukocyte antigen matching practices in this field.

Methods: A survey addressing human leukocyte antigen crossmatching methods was generated and sent to 22 vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation centers with active protocols worldwide. Results were compiled by center and compared using two-tailed t tests.

Results: Twenty of 22 centers (91 percent) responded to the survey. Peripheral blood was the most commonly reported donor sample for vascularized composite tissue allotransplant crossmatching [78 percent of centers (n=14)], with only 22 percent (n=4) using lymph nodes. However, 56 percent of the 18 centers (n=10) that had performed vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation reported that they harvested lymph nodes for crossmatching. Of responding individuals, 62.5 percent (10 of 16 individuals) felt that lymph nodes were the best donor sample for crossmatching.

Conclusions: A slight majority of vascularized composite tissue allotransplant centers that have performed clinical transplants have used lymph nodes for human leukocyte antigen matching, and centers appear to be divided on the utility of lymph node harvest. The use of lymph nodes may offer a number of potential benefits. This study highlights the need for institutional review board-approved crossmatching protocols specific to vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation, and the need for global databases for sharing of vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation experiences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0000000000000278DOI Listing
July 2014

Increased macrophage density of cardiac allograft biopsies is associated with antibody-mediated rejection and alloantibodies to HLA antigens.

Clin Transplant 2014 May 11;28(5):554-60. Epub 2014 Apr 11.

Department of Pathology and Cardiology, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: Antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) is characterized histologically by intracapillary macrophages. Macrophage density may be an alternative method of determining inflammatory changes in AMR.

Methods: We identified 118 heart transplant patients with serologic testing for HLA alloantibodies. Macrophage density was graded as 1+ (<45/mm(2)), 2+ (46-90/mm(2)), and 3+ (>90/mm(2)). Maximal macrophage density and complement staining over multiple biopsies were correlated with peak panel reactive antibodies (PRA), donor-specific antibodies (DSA), and the clinical diagnosis of AMR.

Results: The presence of PRA correlated with macrophage score (p = 0.001). Macrophage density correlated with any DSA (p < 0.0001), class I DSA (p < 0.0001), class II DSA (p < 0.0001), and class II DQ (p < 0.0001). Nine patients had clinical AMR. Among patients with AMR, 89% had a biopsy over the period of AMR with ≥3+ macrophage density (89% sensitivity); among patients without AMR, 93% of patients had no biopsy at any time with ≥3+ macrophage density (specificity). There was perfect concordance between the scores of C4d positivity and macrophage density in 61% and only partial concordance in 20%, with complete discordance in 19% in biopsies taken during clinical episodes of AMR.

Conclusions: Macrophage density in allograft endomyocardial biopsies is frequently elevated during clinical episodes of AMR and correlates well with alloantibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ctr.12348DOI Listing
May 2014

Amplified RPS6KB1 and CDC2 genes are potential biomarkers for aggressive HIV+/EBV+ diffuse large B-cell lymphomas.

Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2013 15;6(2):148-54. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

Department of Pathology, Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

RPS6KB1 encodes p70S6K/p85S6K, which plays a role in the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signal transduction pathway. CDC2 gene encodes cdc2, which is critical for G2/M cell cycle progression. We had previously shown that amplified RPS6KB1 and CDC2 are commonly detected in the EBV+ diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in HIV patients. In current study, we further evaluated the amplified RPS6KB1 and CDC2 genes in 12 HIV-related aggressive B-cell lymphomas and 10 non-HIV-related DLBCL using real time quantitative PCR. The cases were divided into 4 groups: 1) HIV-/EBV-; 2) HIV-/EBV+; 3) HIV+/EBV-; and 4) HIV+/EBV+. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and the area under the curve (AUC) was used to assess the ability of each gene to distinguish non-HIV+/EBV+ cases from HIV+/EBV+ cases. The AUC was estimated to be 0.76 for RPS6KB1 and 0.74 for CDC2 by using the Mann-Whitney statistic. Amplified RPS6KB1 and CDC2 genes were more frequently detected in common variants of DLBCL associated with HIV infection. Taken together, amplified RPS6KB1 and CDC2 are potential biomarkers for the aggressive DLBCL, particularly in HIV+/EBV+ patients. This study also suggests that the HIV+/EBV+ aggressive DLBCL could be potentially treated by targeting RPS6KB1 and CDC2 genes.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3544236PMC
July 2013

Antibody-mediated allograft rejection: morphologic spectrum and serologic correlations in surveillance and for cause biopsies.

Transplantation 2013 Jan;95(1):128-36

Department of Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.

Background: Subclinical antibody-mediated allograft rejection (AMR) has been characterized in serial biopsies from presensitized recipients but has not been systematically studied in conventional renal transplants.

Methods: We evaluated 1101 consecutive kidney transplant biopsies (400 surveillance biopsies [SBx] and 701 for cause biopsies [FCBx]) with concurrent donor-specific antibody (DSA) studies, C4d staining, and ultrastructural examination.

Results: A comparison of AMR-related features (DSA and DSA class, C4d staining, and microvascular injury) demonstrated that these were qualitatively and quantitatively associated with each other and with graft dysfunction. A major difference between SBx and FCBx was that the complete AMR phenotype was more common in FCBx. Among SBx, 8.5% showed complete or incomplete AMR with predominance of an incomplete phenotype (according to the Banff schema, these were acute AMR [23.5%], chronic active AMR [14.7%], suspicious for acute AMR [41.1%], suspicious for chronic active AMR [2.9%], and only microvascular injury insufficient to consider AMR [17.5%]). Persistence or worsening of AMR in a subsequent biopsy occurred in 38.2% of cases independently of the strength of AMR findings in the first biopsy (e.g., progression to chronic AMR occurred also in cases with suspicious or nondiagnostic findings). Temporal progression from subclinical to clinically evident AMR is consistent with the fact that, overall, the biopsies with incomplete phenotype (DSA±C4d) occurred between 14.52 and 20.86 months, whereas the complete phenotype occurred much later (36.71 months).

Conclusion: An accurate diagnostic interpretation of the potentially important but incomplete, subclinical, AMR phenotype represents a serious challenge that may impact clinical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0b013e3182777f28DOI Listing
January 2013

Total face, double jaw, and tongue transplantation: an evolutionary concept.

Plast Reconstr Surg 2013 Feb;131(2):241-251

Baltimore, Md. From the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland Medical Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Background: The central face high-energy avulsive injury has been frequently encountered and predictably managed at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. However, despite significant surgical advances and multiple surgical procedures, the ultimate outcome continues to reveal an inanimate, insensate, and suboptimal aesthetic result.

Methods: To effectively address this challenging deformity, a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach was devised. The strategy involved the foundation of a basic science laboratory, the cultivation of a supportive institutional clinical environment, the innovative application of technologies, cadaveric simulations, a real-time clinical rehearsal, and an informed and willing recipient who had the characteristic deformity.

Results: After institutional review board and organ procurement organization approval, a total face, double jaw, and tongue transplantation was performed on a 37-year-old man with a central face high-energy avulsive ballistic injury.

Conclusions: This facial transplant represents the most comprehensive transplant performed to date. Through a systematic approach and clinical adherence to fundamental principles of aesthetic surgery, craniofacial surgery, and microsurgery and the innovative application of technologies, restoration of human appearance and function for individuals with a devastating composite disfigurement is now a reality.

Clinical Question/level Of Evidence: Therapeutic, V.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182789d38DOI Listing
February 2013

Nonhuman primate model of fibula vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation demonstrates donor-recipient bony union.

Plast Reconstr Surg 2011 Dec;128(6):1193-1204

Baltimore, Md. From the Division of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Maxillofacial Surgery, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center; the Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery; the Department of Pathology; the Immunogenetics Laboratory; and the Program for Comparative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Background: Vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation has demonstrated clinical success with standard immunosuppression in hand and upper extremity transplantation. The authors developed a fibular vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation model in nonhuman primates to investigate healing and rejection patterns of bone and associated tissues.

Methods: Five fibular vascularized composite tissue allotransplantations were performed between mismatched cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis). Vascularized fibular segments with associated muscle and skin were transplanted to recipient forearm radius defects. Recipients were treated with either tacrolimus monotherapy or tacrolimus plus co-stimulatory blockade with a novel anti-CD28 antibody. Animals were followed for 6 months with serial radiographs, blood sample collection, and biopsies. At the study endpoint, angiographic, biomechanical, histologic, and immunologic assays were performed.

Results: All animals survived to the experimental endpoint of 180 days. Rapid or immediate skin loss was evident secondary to vascular compromise (n = 3) or rejection (n = 1) in four animals. Despite loss of nonbony segments and the development of transplant arteriopathy consistent with chronic rejection in two animals, serial radiologic imaging and histology demonstrated bone healing and donor-recipient bony union by 10 weeks in all animals. Histology confirmed the presence of viable cortical and marrow elements. Biomechanical analysis supported donor-recipient bony union. Short-tandem repeated genotypic analysis revealed that donor marrow had been completely replaced by recipient marrow.

Conclusions: In contrast to successes in extremity vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation, the authors' nonhuman primate fibular vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation model showed early skin loss, replacement of donor bone marrow, and chronic rejection. Donor-recipient bone union did occur and supports the potential for reconstruction of bony continuity defects using isolated vascularized bone allotransplants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0b013e318230c5d0DOI Listing
December 2011

Relation between normal rectal methylation, smoking status, and the presence or absence of colorectal adenomas.

Cancer 2010 Oct;116(19):4495-501

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.

Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is 1 of the leading causes of death in the Western world. CRC develops from premalignant lesions, chiefly colorectal adenomas. Currently, the most accurate and recommended screening method for finding colorectal adenomas is colonoscopy performed on all individuals aged>50 years. However, the costs and risks associated with this procedure are relatively high. The objectives of the current study were to correlate epigenetic alterations that occur in normal rectal mucosa, smoking status, and age with the presence or absence of concomitant colorectal adenomas and to assess the potential clinical value of methylation in normal rectal biopsies as a screening assay for the presence of polyps and, hence, the need for a full colonoscopy.

Methods: One hundred thirteen normal rectal mucosal biopsies from 113 patients were studied. DNA was extracted, modified with sodium bisulfite, and subjected to real-time quantitative, methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction analysis for the following genes: adenomatous polyposis coli (APC); cadherin 1, type 1, E-cadherin (epithelial) (CDH1); estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1); cytokine high in normal 1 (HIN1); hyperplastic polyposis protein 1 (HPP1); O-6 methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT); neural epidermal growth factor-like 1 (NELL1); splicing factor 3B, 14-kDa subunit (p14); cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor 2B (inhibits CDK4) (p15); retinoic acid receptor beta (RARβ); somatostatin (SST); tachykinin, precursor 1 (TAC1); and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP) metallopeptidase inhibitor 3 (TIMP3). Data were then analyzed using several proprietary software programs.

Results: By using several sets of genes, clinical characteristics, and multivariate analyses, the authors developed a prediction model for the presence of concomitant colorectal adenomas at the time of rectal biopsy. They also observed strong correlations between smoking status and rectal methylation pattern and between smoking status and the presence or risk of concomitant adenomas.

Conclusions: A prediction model was developed for the presence of colorectal adenomas based on gene methylation patterns in the normal rectum. The results indicated that these genes may be involved in early stages of adenoma formation. The observed epigenetic alterations in these markers may be caused in part by the effects of smoking and/or age. Normal rectal methylation may be useful as a biomarker for narrowing the population in need of screening colonoscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.25348DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2988654PMC
October 2010

Prolonged survival of composite facial allografts in non-human primates associated with posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder.

Transplantation 2009 Dec;88(11):1242-50

Division of Transplantation, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: Composite tissue allotransplantation may have different immunosuppressive requirements and manifest different complications compared with solid organ transplantation. We developed a non-human primate facial composite tissue allotransplantation model to investigate strategies to achieve prolonged graft survival and immunologic responses unique to these allografts.

Methods: Composite facial subunits consisting of skin, muscle, and bone were heterotopically transplanted to mixed lymphocyte reaction-mismatched Cynomolgus macaques. Tacrolimus monotherapy was administered via continuous intravenous infusion for 28 days then tapered to daily intramuscular doses.

Results: Five of the six animals treated with tacrolimus monotherapy demonstrated rejection-free graft survival up to 177 days (mean, 113 days). All animals with prolonged graft survival developed posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD). Three animals converted to rapamycin after 28 days of rejection of their allografts, but did not develop PTLD. Genotypic analysis of PTLD tumors demonstrated donor origin in three of the five analyzed by short-tandem repeats. Sustained alloantibodies were detected in rejecting grafts and absent in nonrejecting grafts.

Conclusions: Tacrolimus monotherapy provided prolonged rejection-free survival of composite facial allografts in a non-human primate model but was associated with the development of a high frequency of donor-derived PTLD tumors. The transplantation of a large volume of vascularized bone marrow in composite tissue allografts may be a risk factor for PTLD development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0b013e3181c1b6d0DOI Listing
December 2009

Antibody-mediated rejection of renal allograft in combined liver-kidney transplant.

Clin Transplant 2010 Sep-Oct;24(5):685-90

Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.

Liver transplantation is performed based on ABO blood type compatibility without dependence on crossmatch results. Combined liver-kidney transplantation (CLKT) is similarly performed without dependence of crossmatch results as the liver is thought to confer protection to the renal allograft against alloantibody. We report a case of CLKT in a sensitized patient with antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) of the renal allograft. AMR was confirmed with C4d staining and serial monitoring of donor-specific antibody (DSA). Despite intensive therapy directed against AMR and the presence of the liver allograft, the patient demonstrated increasing titers of alloantibody, never demonstrated adequate renal function, and ultimately expired after two months. This result demonstrates the potential for AMR of the renal allograft in sensitized recipients of CLKT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1399-0012.2009.01161.xDOI Listing
February 2011

Thymoglobulin dose optimization for induction therapy in high risk kidney transplant recipients.

Transplantation 2008 May;85(10):1425-30

Department of Pharmacy, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.

Background: Thymoglobulin (rATG) has become the agent of choice for induction therapy in high immunological risk kidney transplant recipients. However, its optimal dosing in this subgroup has not been studied.

Methods: To evaluate the effect of total rATG dosing on graft outcomes in such patients, we conducted a retrospective cohort study of 96 adult patients who received repeat transplants (85%) or had panel reactive antibody more than 40% (19%) and were maintained on tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and steroid. Group 1 (n=33) received less than or equal to 7.5 and group 2 (n=63) received more than 7.5 mg/kg rATG. Graft and patient survival, incidence of acute rejection (AR), and 12-month serum creatinine (SCr) were examined.

Results: The groups were comparable regarding demographics, donor source, retransplantation, panel reactive antibody, and human leukocyte antigen mismatch. Group 2 had more African Americans (44.4% vs. 21.2%, P=0.03). During the 25.4+/-18.0 months follow-up graft survival was 82.5% and 79.4%, respectively (P=0.54). Three in group 1 and four in group 2 died (P=0.65). The incidence of biopsy proven AR during the first 12-months did not differ between the groups (9.5% vs. 8.8%, respectively, P=0.9). SCr at 12 months was 1.6+/-0.7 in group 1 and 1.8+/-1.0 in group 2 (P=0.3). There was no independent association between rATG dose and graft survival (hazard ratio: 0.85, P=0.79, 95% CI: 0.26-2.7 for group 2 vs. 1) or 1-year SCr (regression coefficient=0.02 for ln(SCr), P=0.3; 95%CI: -0.01 to 0.6).

Conclusion: Our results suggest that in high risk kidney transplant recipients total rATG doses less than or equal to 7.5 mg/kg are safe and effective in achieving a low rate of AR and graft outcomes comparable to higher doses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0b013e31816dd596DOI Listing
May 2008

Acute graft-versus-host disease in pancreas transplantation: a comparison of two case presentations and a review of the literature.

Transplantation 2006 Jul;82(1):127-31

Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.

As a complication of solid organ transplantation, acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is most associated with small bowel and liver transplants. We present two cases of acute GVHD following pancreas transplantation. Case 1 was a 27-year-old female who underwent cadaveric pancreas transplant 9 months after a successful live donor kidney transplant. Case 2 was a 38-year-old male who received a simultaneous cadaveric pancreas and live donor kidney transplant. Both patients presented within 30 days of transplant with nonspecific symptoms. Rejection and infection were ruled out. Both subjects had progressive decline in mentation associated with pancytopenia and hyperbilirubinemia. Rash was not present until late in their hospital course. Skin biopsies demonstrated mixed chimerism with pancreas donor DNA diagnostic of GVHD. Acute GVHD is a rare, often fatal, complication of pancreas transplantation, and its presentation appears to differ from acute GVHD associated with stem cell transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.tp.0000225832.47130.10DOI Listing
July 2006

Association of maternal histocompatibility at class II HLA loci with maternal microchimerism in the fetus.

Pediatr Res 2004 Jul 5;56(1):73-8. Epub 2004 May 5.

Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.

For investigating the possible influence of maternal-fetal HLA compatibility on maternal microchimerism, DNA samples from blood of 120 maternal-fetal pairs were genotyped at two polymorphic loci: glutathione-S-transferase M1 (GSTM1) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). Informative pairs (mother heterozygous/fetus homozygous at one of the two loci) were then tested by quantitative real-time PCR for the noninherited maternal allele(s) and genotyped at the HLA-A, B, and C class I loci and/or at the DRB1 and/or DQB1 class II loci. Small numbers of maternal cells were detected in the circulation of 16 of the 30 informative second- and third-trimester fetuses. Comparison with HLA data suggested an association between microchimerism and maternal compatibility at the class II DRB1 and/or DQB1 HLA loci and with the maternal HLA-DQB1*0301 allele. There was no relationship between maternal microchimerism and maternal-fetal HLA compatibility at other HLA loci or with gestational age, fetal anomalies, or red cell or platelet isoimmunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1203/01.PDR.0000129656.10005.A6DOI Listing
July 2004

Graftskin therapy in epidermolysis bullosa.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2003 Jun;48(6):886-92

Department of Dermatology, Detroit Michigan, USA.

Background: Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a family of 23 genetic skin disorders for which treatments are mainly supportive. Graftskin is a bilayered living human skin construct characterized by a normal expression profile of all the genes reported as mutant in EB.

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficiency and durability of graftskin in the treatment of EB.

Methods: A total of 9 children with EB were treated with graftskin. These include EB simplex: Dowling-Meara type (n = 2); Weber-Cockayne type (n = 1); junctional EB-Herlitz type (n = 1); and recessive dystrophic EB (n = 5). Lesions were debrided of epidermis and crusts followed by application of fenestrated graftskin under sterile conditions. Syndactyly hand release for "mitten deformity" was performed after removal of all epidermis under general anesthesia. All treatment sites were dressed with a nonadherent contact layer followed by absorbent foam dressing, roll gauze, and a compression wrap covering and were left intact for 1 week. Graft take was assessed clinically at weeks 1, 2, 4, 12, and 20 to 28. Graft persistence was assessed by electron microscopy and polymerase chain reaction analysis at weeks 4 and 12, and between weeks 20 and 28 on selected cases.

Results: A total of 96 sites were treated with 90% to 100% healing observed by 5 to 7 days, and many sites appearing as normal skin by 10 to 14 days. Finger and hand lesions showed 50% to 90% improvement in range of motion over baseline. Two children learned to walk after graftskin treatment of chronic plantar lesions. Two children had improvement in their chronic anemia after graftskin treatment. All patients and/or parents reported rapid pain resolution. Immunologic and genetic studies of graft persistence revealed evidence of donor DNA up to 28 weeks after graftskin application. None of the samples from female patients demonstrated Y chromosome-specific sequence when analyzed by the method of short tandem repeat.

Conclusion: The encouraging results reported herein support the hypothesis that graftskin is more than a simple bandage or a source of growth factors to stimulate autologous closure of EB wounds. The improved quality of life and rapid achievement of growth/development milestones we have observed makes this an exciting step forward in the care of the patient with EB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1067/mjd.2003.502DOI Listing
June 2003

Combined segregation and linkage analysis of HLA markers in familial psoriasis.

Eur J Hum Genet 2002 May;10(5):327-33

Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Wisconsin, USA.

Marker-based segregation analysis (MBSA) is a modification of a published method of combined linkage and segregation analysis (Am J Hum Genet 51: 1111-1126, 1992), to determine whether a candidate gene known to be associated with the disease of interest is truly segregating with the disease in families. Here we outline the conceptual basis of MBSA and present a Monte Carlo method for significance testing. The method is applied to PSORS1, a locus within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) for which linkage and linkage disequilibrium with psoriasis has already been demonstrated. The results are very consistent with our current knowledge of PSORS1, and suggest that MBSA can provide useful information on genotype-phenotype relationships such as penetrance and allelic heterogeneity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejhg.5200810DOI Listing
May 2002
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