Stem Cell Transplant Immunology

  • Katharine K. Miller
  • Sonja SchrepferEmail author
Part of the Cardiac and Vascular Biology book series (Abbreviated title: Card. vasc. biol., volume 4)


Stem cell transplantation is quickly developing as an attractive therapeutic option for regenerating tissues injured by cardiovascular disease. From embryonic to induced pluripotent stem cells, from injection of stem cells to differentiation of cardiac cell lineages, researchers continue to push the boundaries of how stem cells can be used in treatments. The major hurdle in the way of creating effective methods for tissue regeneration is immune rejection of transplanted materials; even undifferentiated stem cells can be recognized by the transplant recipients’ immune system, limiting their survival and overall beneficial potential. Posttransplant rejection of cellular materials does not always follow the same immunological progression, and as such, different types of stem cells can be rejected through distinct immune pathways. Therefore, a strong understanding of the known mechanisms behind stem cell immunogenicity—including specific cases of embryonic and patient-specific stem cell rejection—is pivotal for researchers to develop more efficient therapeutics. The future of stem cell transplantation research lies in developing techniques that prevent immune recognition of transplanted cells or tissues and in generating ready-to-use stem cell lines that can be quickly and easily prepared for transplantation.


Stem cells Transplant immunology Cell therapy Embryonic stem cells Induced pluripotent stem cells Somatic cell nuclear transfer 



Embryonic stem


Human leukocyte antigen




Induced pluripotent


Major histocompatibility complex


Minor histocompatibility antigen


Natural killer


Nuclear transfer embryonic stem cell


T cell receptor


Somatic cell nuclear transfer


Single nucleotide polymorphisms


Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Heart Center Hamburg, Transplant and Stem Cell Immunobiology (TSI)-LabHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryTransplant and Stem Cell Immunobiology (TSI)-Lab, University California San Francisco (UCSF)San FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC), University Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  4. 4.German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) e.V., University Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  5. 5.Department of Cardiovascular SurgeryUniversity Heart Center HamburgHamburgGermany

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