, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 491-500
Date: 16 Aug 2012

Co-Stimulatory Blockade and Tolerance Induction in Transplantation

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Abstract

Recipients of organ and tissue transplants require lifelong immunosuppression to prevent rejection. Better understanding of the processes culminating in allograft rejection has led to novel approaches to modulating the immune response. Co-stimulatory signals between antigen-presenting and -responding cells are essential for a normal alloimmune response, and blockade of these pathways during initial graft-host interaction may be used to ameliorate or prevent a destructive response from proceeding. A large number of experimental studies now support this concept, and early clinical trials have been initiated. Despite some early difficulties and many unanswered questions, co-stimulatory blockade has major potential as a future immune-modulating mechanism for use in clinical transplantation.