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Transplantation is the most effective treatment for end-stage organ failure, but organ survival is limited by immune rejection and the side effects of immunosuppressive regimens. T cells are central to the process of transplant rejection through allorecognition of foreign antigens leading to their activation, and the orchestration of an effector response that results in organ damage. Long-term transplant acceptance in the absence of immunosuppressive therapy remains the ultimate goal in the field of transplantation and many studies are exploring potential therapies. One promising cellular therapy is the use of regulatory T cells to induce a state of donor-specific tolerance to the transplant. This article first discusses the role of T cells in transplant rejection, with a focus on the mechanisms of allorecognition and the alloresponse. This is followed by a detailed review of the current progress in the field of regulatory T-cell therapy in transplantation and the translation of this therapy to the clinical setting.

Original publication




Journal article


Expert Rev Clin Immunol

Publication Date





155 - 169


Animals, Graft Rejection, Graft Survival, Humans, Immunosuppressive Agents, Lymphocyte Transfusion, Organ Transplantation, T-Lymphocyte Subsets, Time Factors, Transplantation Tolerance, Treatment Outcome