Immunology in Lung Transplantation

  • Idoia Gimferrer
  • Karen A. NelsonEmail author


Immunology plays an expanded role in lung transplantation compared to transplantation of other vascularized allografts, specifically the contribution of innate immunity. The lung is in constant contact with the external environment, contending with exposure to pathogens and irritants. Specialized tissues in addition to innate and adaptive immune responses have evolved to protect the lung from these external threats; these systems must continue to function in the lung allograft. After lung transplantation, mismatched HLA antigens are the most common target of the adaptive immune system. In addition, other proteins normally not available to the immune system but exposed after tissue damage can stimulate antibody responses and contribute to allograft destruction. Immunosuppressive therapy does not discriminate between allogenic responses and those required to fight external pathogens. Precision medicine including laboratory testing to identify the targets of the alloimmune response is needed to tailor therapy for each recipient.


Adaptive immunity Innate immunity Alloantibody Autoantibody Complement Inflammation Primary graft nonfunction Chronic rejection 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Immunogenetics/HLABloodworks NorthwestSeattleUSA

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