Mechanisms of Action of Extracorporeal Photopheresis in the Control of Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome (BOS): Involvement of Circulating miRNAs.

Clinical evidence suggests an improvement or stabilization of lung function in a fraction of patients with bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) treated by extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP); however, few studies have explored the epigenetic and molecular regulation of this therapy. The aim of present study was to evaluate whether a specific set of miRNAs were significantly regulated by ECP. Total RNA was isolated from serum of patients with established BOS grade 1-2 prior to the start and after 6 months of ECP treatment. We observed a significant downregulation of circulating hsa-miR-155-5p, hsa-miR-146a-5p and hsa-miR-31-5p in BOS patients at the start of ECP when compared to healthy subjects. In responders, increased miR-155-5p and decreased miR-23b-3p expression levels at 6 months were found. SMAD4 mRNA was found to be a common target of these two miRNAs in prediction pathways analysis, and a significant downregulation was found at 6 months in PBMCs of a subgroup of ECP-treated patients. According to previous evidence, the upregulation of miR-155 might be correlated with a pro-tolerogenic modulation of the immune system. Our analysis also suggests that SMAD4 might be a possible target for miR-155-5p. Further longitudinal studies are needed to address the possible role of miR-155 and its downstream targets.
BACKGROUND:
There is no standard definition for “HLA incompatible” transplants. For the first time, we systematically assessed how HLA incompatibility was defined in contemporary peer-reviewed publications and its prognostic implication to transplant outcomes.
 
METHODS:
We combined 2 independent searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library from 2015 to 2019. Content-expert reviewers screened for original research on outcomes of HLA-incompatible transplants (defined as allele or molecular mismatch and solid-phase or cell-based assays). We ascertained the completeness of reporting on a predefined set of variables assessing HLA incompatibility, therapies, and outcomes. Given significant heterogeneity, we conducted narrative synthesis and assessed risk of bias in studies examining the association between death-censored graft failure and HLA incompatibility.
 
RESULTS:
Of 6656 screened articles, 163 evaluated transplant outcomes by HLA incompatibility. Most articles reported on cytotoxic/flow T-cell crossmatches (n = 98). Molecular genotypes were reported for selected loci at the allele-group level. Sixteen articles reported on epitope compatibility. Pretransplant donor-specific HLA antibodies were often considered (n = 143); yet there was heterogeneity in sample handling, assay procedure, and incomplete reporting on donor-specific HLA antibodies assignment. Induction (n = 129) and maintenance immunosuppression (n = 140) were frequently mentioned but less so rejection treatment (n = 72) and desensitization (n = 70). Studies assessing death-censored graft failure risk by HLA incompatibility were vulnerable to bias in the participant, predictor, and analysis domains.
 
CONCLUSIONS:
Optimization of transplant outcomes and personalized care depends on accurate HLA compatibility assessment. Reporting on a standard set of variables will help assess generalizability of research, allow knowledge synthesis, and facilitate international collaboration in clinical trials.