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Subspecialties Guidelines and recommendations, Microbiology and immunology, Quality assurance and quality control, Screening and monitoring

Catching Cast-Off Kidneys

Despite kidney transplants’ offering new hope for patients with end-stage kidney disease, up to 35 percent of kidneys are rejected within 10 years (1). This may be the result of long-term immune system damage in the transplanted kidney – but, right now, our ways of finding out are either invasive or limited predictors of rejection.

University of Pittsburgh researchers recognized the need for less invasive immunological biomarkers and investigated the ratio of IL-10 to TNFα (2). In examining patients three months after transplant, they found that a low ratio was a strong predictor of rejection within the first year and progressively worse renal function and decreased allograft survival within five years.

Anti-TNFα treatment for high-risk patients restored the ratio and, ultimately, regulatory function – demonstrating its potential as a therapeutic intervention for patients with predicted renal allograft rejection.


Want to find out more about predicting allograft survival? Check out this infographic about discarded kidney donations!

Curious about kidney procurement and transplantation? Read Sumit Mohan’s in-depth article on the subject here!

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  1. EurekAlert! (2021). Available at: http://bit.ly/3rlNw7d.
  2. A Cherukuri et al., Sci Transl Med, 13, eabe4929. PMID: 33627487.

About the Author

Olivia Gaskill

During my undergraduate degree in psychology and Master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience, I realized the tasks my classmates found tedious – writing essays, editing, proofreading – were the ones that gave me the greatest satisfaction. I quickly gathered that rambling on about science in the bar wasn’t exactly riveting for my non-scientist friends, so my thoughts turned to a career in science writing. At Texere, I get to craft science into stories, interact with international experts, and engage with readers who love science just as much as I do.

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