Alloimmunization to transfused products remains a major barrier to safe and efficacious transfusions. Understanding the cues and signals responsible for triggering antibody responses to transfused cells can help to identify potential alloimmunization biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets to prevent and even reverse alloimmunization. In this session, we will describe recent studies on the use of advanced imaging and cell engineering approaches that have led to visualization of leukocyte interactions during an immune response to transfused products, identifying key cell types in driving/stopping alloantibody immune responses. We will also discuss the role of hemolysis in giving a go/no go signal to B cells to differentiate into antibody producing plasma cells in transfused patients with sickle cell disease and describe candidate heme-binding drugs for inhibition of B cell responses for prevention of alloimmunization in sickle cell disease.
Associate Medical Director, Brigham and Women's Hospital Transfusion Service Medical Director, Brigham and Women's Hospital Apheresis Service Associate Director, National Center for Functional Glycomics