Disparities of minor Histocompatibility antigens (mHag) have been considered as an important immunogenetic factor influencing immune responses following transplantation despite fully matched HLA of donor and recipient. The aim of our study was to answer whether mHag incompatibility may influence the outcome of allo-HCT. DNA samples from 92 unrelated donor/recipient pairs completely matched in HLA-A*,B*,C*,DRB1*,DQB1* alleles were collected in order to define minor Histocompatibility HA-1, HA-2, HA-3, HA-8, HB-1, ACC-1, ACC-2, HwA-9, HwA-10, UGT2B17, HY genotypes with use of Dynal AllSet kits by PCR-SSP method. Unrelated allo-HCTs were performed in the Department of Hematology and BMT in Katowice, Poland, with use the same standard operating procedure from January 2004 until December 2006. Host versus Graft or Graft versus Host direction of immune responses in donor/recipient pairs was analyzed with use of the minor Histocompatibility Database of Leiden University Medical Center. We observed the impact of mHAg mismatches upon chronic GVHD, incidence of leukemia relapse and graft failure. Patients transplanted from donors with mHAg’s incompatibility in GVH direction had higher probability of chronic GVHD in comparison to other pairs (54% vs 31%, p=0.07). This impact was most prominent for mismatched mHAgs with broad tissue distribution (62% vs 36%, p=0.04), especially HY (66% vs 38%, p=0.02). Opposite influence of HY mismatches in GVH direction was observed upon the probability of relapse, which was lower in the HY-mismatched than in HY-matched group (6% vs 23%, p=0.046). Two mHAgs with tissue distribution restricted to hematopoietic cells mismatched in HVG direction were associated with higher incidence of graft failure than in matched pairs: HA-1 (38% vs 12%, p=0.09) and HA-2 (50% vs 13%, p=0.09). Minor Histocompatibility typing of completely HLA matched patients helps to identify individuals who are at higher risk of cGVHD, leukemia relapse and graft failure, and thus supports precise matching of donor/recipient pairs for unrelated allo-HCT.

Author notes

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.