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.
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.
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.
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.
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.