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International Journal of Hepatology
Volume 2011, Article ID 947150, 8 pages
Research Article

Correlation of Chimerism with Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease in Rats following Liver Transplantation

1Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Key Laboratory of Combined Multi-Organ Transplantation of Ministry of Public Health, The First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, 79 Qingchun Road, Hangzhou 310003, China
2Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Organ Transplantation Center, Henan Province People's Hospital, Zhengzhou 450003, Henan Province, China

Received 6 December 2010; Accepted 5 March 2011

Academic Editor: Daisuke Morioka

Copyright © 2011 Fei Xue et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The accurate diagnosis of acute graft-versus-host disease following liver transplantation (LTx-aGVHD) has been hampered. Chimerism appears in the majority of recipients after LT and its significance in the diagnosis of LTx-aGVHD has not been clearly established. To demonstrate the significance of chimerism on the diagnosis of LTx-aGVHD, we compared the change of chimerism in syngeneic LT recipients, semiallogeneic LT recipients, and LTx-aGVHD induced recipients. Chimerism in PBMCs following sex-mismatched LT was identified by real-time PCR based on a rat Y-chromosome-specific primer. All recipients in semiallogeneic group grew in a normal pattern. However, when 4 × 1 0 8 donor splenocytes were transferred simultaneously during LT, the morbidity of lethal aGVHD was 100%. The chimerism appeared slightly higher in the semiallogeneic group than in the syngeneic LT group, but the difference was not significant. However, when the recipients developed lethal aGVHD after LT, chimerism in the PBMCs increased progressively, and even at an early time, a significant increase in chimerism was observed. In conclusion, high level chimerism correlated well with LTx-aGVHD, and detection of chimerism soon after transplantation may be of value in the diagnosis of LTx-aGVHD prior to the onset of symptoms.