Transplantation Immunobiology



Our immune system has evolved into an intricate system to protect us from invading microbes while maintaining its ability to recognize self. The very nature of its design limits the success of transplantation since the recipient recognizes the transplanted organ as foreign and mounts a robust response to target it. There are two arms of the immune system: innate (or natural) immunity and adaptive immunity. The innate immune system is evolutionarily older and does not require the recognition of specific antigens. Nonspecific recruitment of macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells, and the complement system provides a rapidly activated first line of defense when damage or infection is encountered. In contrast, the highly sophisticated adaptive immune system involves a more efficient recognition of specific pathogens and is able to generate immunological memory. Adaptive immunity is characterized by the involvement of T cells in cell-mediated immune response and B cells in the humoral response.


Allorecognition Major histocompatibility complex T cells B cells Tolerance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Renal Division, Transplantation Research CenterBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA

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