Tackling Chronic Kidney Transplant Rejection: Challenges and Promises

Xingqiang Lai, Xin Zheng, James M. Mathew, Lorenzo Gallon, Joseph R. Leventhal, Zheng Jenny Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Despite advances in post-transplant management, the long-term survival rate of kidney grafts and patients has not improved as approximately forty percent of transplants fails within ten years after transplantation. Both immunologic and non-immunologic factors contribute to late allograft loss. Chronic kidney transplant rejection (CKTR) is often clinically silent yet progressive allogeneic immune process that leads to cumulative graft injury, deterioration of graft function. Chronic active T cell mediated rejection (TCMR) and chronic active antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) are classified as two principal subtypes of CKTR. While significant improvements have been made towards a better understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms and diagnostic classifications of CKTR, lack of early detection, differential diagnosis and effective therapies continue to pose major challenges for long-term management. Recent development of high throughput cellular and molecular biotechnologies has allowed rapid development of new biomarkers associated with chronic renal injury, which not only provide insight into pathogenesis of chronic rejection but also allow for early detection. In parallel, several novel therapeutic strategies have emerged which may hold great promise for improvement of long-term graft and patient survival. With a brief overview of current understanding of pathogenesis, standard diagnosis and challenges in the context of CKTR, this mini-review aims to provide updates and insights into the latest development of promising novel biomarkers for diagnosis and novel therapeutic interventions to prevent and treat CKTR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number661643
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - May 20 2021


  • IFTA
  • T cells mediated rejection
  • biomarkers
  • chronic allograft rejection
  • kidney transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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