Histopathology and immunophenotype of the spleen during acute antibody-mediated rejection: Case report

B. Kaplan, T. Jie, R. Diana, J. Renz, A. Whinery, N. Stubbs, E. Bracamonte, C. Spier, P. Schubart, H. Rilo, R. Gruessner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Splenectomy has been reported to have a beneficial effect in treating Acute antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR). This reason for this often rapid and profound beneficial effect is not readily apparent from what is known about normal splenic immunoarchitecture. While the spleen is rich in mature B cells, it has not been noted to be a repository for direct antibody-secreting cells. We present a case of a Native American female who received a renal transplant and developed a severe episode of ABMR. The patient was initially refractory to both plasmapheresis and IVIG. The patient underwent an emergent splenectomy with almost immediate improvement in her renal function and a rapid drop in her DR51 antibodies. Immunohistochemical stains of the spleen demonstrated abundant clusters of CD138+ plasma cells (>10% CD138 cells as opposed to 1% CD138 cells as seen in traumatic controls). Though this is a single case, these findings offer a rationale for the rapid ameliorative effect of splenectomy in cases of antibody rejection. It is possible that the spleen during times of excessive antigenic stress may rapidly turn over B cells to active antibody-secreting cells or serve as a reservoir for these cells produced at other sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1316-1320
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Acute rejection
  • Antibody-mediated rejection
  • Kidney
  • Plasma cells
  • Transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Histopathology and immunophenotype of the spleen during acute antibody-mediated rejection: Case report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this