- Dr. Subramaniam Malarkannan, Principal Investigator
- Dr. Jeyarani Regunathan, Research Associate
- Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA
- Role of Minor Histocompatibility Antigens in Solid Organ Transplant Rejection
Solid organ transplantation is a vital clinical methodology to save the lives of patients with organ failures due to many physiological etiologies. Historically, organ transplantations and blood transfusion were attempted for hundreds of years. Studies over the past 100 years have made many remarkable milestones in improving acceptance of the graft by the host, one of them being the “matching” of the host and the donor for a set of proteins called Major Histocompatibility Antigens (HLA typing). By matching individuals for HLA physicians can identify donors whose organs potentially will not be rejected by the patient. Acceptance rates of the grafts are significantly higher after matching the donor and the host. However, even after matching a good number of patients reject the transplanted graft. Studies in humans and mice indicated that a second set of molecules, called “Minor Histocompatibility Antigens,” is responsible for these rejections. The molecular identities of these molecules are important for understanding the reasons for rejection and to devise ways to improve solid organ transplant acceptance. Our laboratory has successfully identified four of these antigens in mouse systems, two of which are also present in humans. Our studies are focused to identify, characterize and develop methods for diagnosis (typing for these molecules also before transplantation) and to improve graft acceptance.