Transplantation

Transplantation is the transfer (engraftment) of human cells, tissues or organs from a donor to a recipient with the aim of restoring function(s) in the body. When transplantation is performed between different species, e.g. animal to human, it is named xenotransplantation. Development of the field of organ and tissue transplantation has accelerated remarkably since the human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) was discovered in 1967. Matching of donor and recipient for MHC antigens has been shown to have a significant positive effect on graft acceptance. The roles of the different components of the immune system involved in the tolerance or rejection of grafts and in graft-versus-host disease have been clarified. These components include: antibodies, antigen presenting cells, helper and cytotoxic T cell subsets, immune cell surface molecules, signaling mechanisms and cytokines that they release.

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