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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 9 (2000), Issue 3-4, Pages 141-146

Cytokine profiles in early rejection following OKT3 treatment in liver transplant patients

The Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Box 1504, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York 10029, NY, USA

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


OKT3, a murine monoclonal antibody specific to the human CD3 complex, induces immunosuppression by depletion of T cells. Administration of OKT3 results in significant release of proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNFα and IL1β. Liver recipients who experience rejection within 3 weeks after transplantation with OKT3 prophylaxis recover their T cells by postoperative day 10 despite complete initial clearance.

We sought to analyze the role of proinflammatory and Th-1 cytokines in T cell recovery and rejection after liver transplantation with OKT3 prophylaxis. In plasma samples from 32 patients, we measured TNFα, IL1β, and IL6 (before transplant and on postoperative days 1, 2 and 3) and IL2, IFNγ, sIL2R and sICAM (postoperative days 5, 7 and 10) and examined possible correlations with T-cell recovery and occurrence of rejection within 3 weeks.

TNFα, IL1β, and IL6 did not correlate with T-cell recovery. In patients who rejected, IL2 and IFNγ on postoperative days 5 and 7 correlated with degree of T-cell recovery by day 10; a significant rise in sIL2R over time also correlated with T-cell recovery in this group.

ur results emphasize the role of Th-1 cytokines in rejection following OKT3 induction and suggest that markers of T cell activation may predict risk.