• Previous studies of renal transplant recipients have demonstrated that allograft rejection is accompanied by an increase in plasma and urinary levels of interleukin 2 and its soluble receptor before the development of clinical symptoms. After measuring interleukin 2 and interleukin 2 receptor levels in the plasma, bile, and urine of liver transplant recipients, we found that rejection is preceded by elevation of plasma and biliary levels of both substances, that cyclosporine toxicity did not affect either of these levels, and that urinary levels of the substances are unaffected in either condition. Levels of interleukin 2 and interleukin 2 receptors increased in bile earlier than in plasma, and interleukin 2 levels did not overlap among stable patients and those experiencing rejection, whereas levels of interleukin 2 receptors did. Serial measurements of interleukin 2 levels, particularly in the product of the transplanted organ, provide a reliable assessment of the immunologic status of the allograft.
(Arch Surg. 1991;126:717-720)