Eosinophils in acute cellular rejection in liver allografts

A. Nagral, Z. Ben-Ari, A. P. Dhillon, A. K. Burroughs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Eosinophils have a role in various allergic and inflammatory disease processes and participate in the process of acute rejection in solid organ allografts. Initial studies described the diagnostic value of eosinophils in kidney allograft rejection. Graft eosinophilia is a sensitive and specific marker of acute rejection in liver allografts and has been incorporated as one of the diagnostic criteria of acute rejection by the Royal Free Hospital scoring system. Blood eosinophilia also has been investigated and is a useful diagnostic marker of acute rejection in liver and kidney allografts, although studies differ in defining the day of onset of eosinophilia in relation to rejection. Eosinophils probably act through the chemokines interleukin-5 and RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T cells expressed and secreted) in the pathogenesis of acute rejection. Basic cytotoxic proteins, such as eosinophil cationic protein and major basic protein, are released by the eosinophils, and their effector role in acute rejection has been studied through the use of specific monoclonal antibodies. Successful treatment of acute rejection with corticosteroids has been associated with a decrease in graft and blood eosinophil counts. Eosinophils also act as prognostic markers of acute rejection, as shown by studies reporting that patients with elevated eosinophil counts and steroid-resistant rejection showed a worse prognosis. Further research into the effector mechanisms of eosinophils in acute rejection needs to be performed. The ability of eosinophils to distinguish those diseases with different responses to standard immunosuppression and other diseases in the context of acute rejection also needs to be studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-362
Number of pages8
JournalLiver Transplantation and Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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