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In Frontiers in immunology ; h5-index 100.0

Efforts at finding potential biomarkers of tolerance after kidney transplantation have been hindered by limited sample size, as well as the complicated mechanisms underlying tolerance and the potential risk of rejection after immunosuppressant withdrawal. In this work, three different publicly available genome-wide expression data sets of peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) from 63 tolerant patients were used to compare 14 different machine learning models for their ability to predict spontaneous kidney graft tolerance. We found that the Best Subset Selection (BSS) regression approach was the most powerful with a sensitivity of 91.7% and a specificity of 93.8% in the test group, and a specificity of 86.1% and a sensitivity of 80% in the validation group. A feature set with five genes (HLA-DOA, TCL1A, EBF1, CD79B, and PNOC) was identified using the BSS model. EBF1 downregulation was also an independent factor predictive of graft rejection and graft loss. An AUC value of 84.4% was achieved using the two-gene signature (EBF1 and HLA-DOA) as an input to our classifier. Overall, our systematic machine learning exploration suggests novel biological targets that might affect tolerance to renal allografts, and provides clinical insights that can potentially guide patient selection for immunosuppressant withdrawal.

Fu Qiang, Agarwal Divyansh, Deng Kevin, Matheson Rudy, Yang Hongji, Wei Liang, Ran Qing, Deng Shaoping, Markmann James F


PBMC, biomarker, kidney transplantation, machine learning, tolerance