The lack of a precise stratification algorithm for predicting patients at high risk of graft rejection challenges the current solid organ transplantation (SOT) clinical setting. In fact, the established biomarkers for transplantation outcomes are unable to accurately predict the onset time and severity of graft rejection (acute or chronic) as well as the individual response to immunosuppressive drugs. Thus, identifying novel molecular pathways underlying early immunological responses which can damage transplant integrity is needed to reach precision medicine and personalized therapy of SOT. Direct epigenetic-sensitive mechanisms, mainly DNA methylation and histone modifications, may play a relevant role for immune activation and long-term effects (e.g., activation of fibrotic processes) which may be translated in new non-invasive biomarkers and drug targets. In particular, the measure of DNA methylation by using the blood-based ?epigenetic clock? system may be an added value to the donor eligibility criteria providing an estimation of the heart biological age as well as a predictive biomarkers. Besides, monitoring of DNA methylation changes may aid to predict acute vs chronic graft damage in kidney transplantation (KT) patients. For example, hypermethylation of genes belonging to the Notch and Wnt pathways showed a higher predictive value for chronic injury occurring at 12 months post-KT with respect to established clinical parameters. Detecting higher circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) fragments carrying hepatocyte-specific unmethylated loci in the inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor heavy chain 4 (ITIH4), insulin like growth factor 2 receptor (IGF2R), and vitronectin (VTN) genes may be useful to predict acute graft injury after liver transplantation (LT) in serum samples. Furthermore, hypomethylation in the forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) gene may serve as a marker of infiltrating natural Treg percentage in the graft providing the ability to predict acute rejection events after heart transplantation (HTx). We aim to update on the possible clinical relevance of DNA methylation changes regulating immune-related pathways underlying acute or chronic graft rejection in KT, LT, and HTx which might be useful to prevent, monitor, and treat solid organ rejection at personalized level. ? 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Clinical epigenetics and acute/chronic rejection in solid organ transplantation: An update

Benincasa, Giuditta;Faenza, Mario;Santangelo, Michele;Napoli, Claudio
2021

Abstract

The lack of a precise stratification algorithm for predicting patients at high risk of graft rejection challenges the current solid organ transplantation (SOT) clinical setting. In fact, the established biomarkers for transplantation outcomes are unable to accurately predict the onset time and severity of graft rejection (acute or chronic) as well as the individual response to immunosuppressive drugs. Thus, identifying novel molecular pathways underlying early immunological responses which can damage transplant integrity is needed to reach precision medicine and personalized therapy of SOT. Direct epigenetic-sensitive mechanisms, mainly DNA methylation and histone modifications, may play a relevant role for immune activation and long-term effects (e.g., activation of fibrotic processes) which may be translated in new non-invasive biomarkers and drug targets. In particular, the measure of DNA methylation by using the blood-based ?epigenetic clock? system may be an added value to the donor eligibility criteria providing an estimation of the heart biological age as well as a predictive biomarkers. Besides, monitoring of DNA methylation changes may aid to predict acute vs chronic graft damage in kidney transplantation (KT) patients. For example, hypermethylation of genes belonging to the Notch and Wnt pathways showed a higher predictive value for chronic injury occurring at 12 months post-KT with respect to established clinical parameters. Detecting higher circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) fragments carrying hepatocyte-specific unmethylated loci in the inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor heavy chain 4 (ITIH4), insulin like growth factor 2 receptor (IGF2R), and vitronectin (VTN) genes may be useful to predict acute graft injury after liver transplantation (LT) in serum samples. Furthermore, hypomethylation in the forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) gene may serve as a marker of infiltrating natural Treg percentage in the graft providing the ability to predict acute rejection events after heart transplantation (HTx). We aim to update on the possible clinical relevance of DNA methylation changes regulating immune-related pathways underlying acute or chronic graft rejection in KT, LT, and HTx which might be useful to prevent, monitor, and treat solid organ rejection at personalized level. ? 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11591/478775
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