An organ from a donor of one species transplanted into a recipient of another species is subject to hyperacute xenograft rejection. Some combinations of donor and recipient species give rise almost invariably to hyperacute xenograft rejection; these combinations have been called “discordant” . Some combinations of donor and recipient species are less apt to give rise to hyperacute xenograft rejection; these combinations have been called “concordant.” Since in a given species combination, hyperacute xenograft rejection occurs nearly always or not at all, hyperacute xenograft rejection has been widely believed to have a genetic basis and to be a reflection of phylogenetic distance between the donor and the recipient [2–4]. During the past several years, the molecular basis for hyperacute xenograft rejection has been elucidated, at least in part, and thus it has become possible to define the mechanisms of susceptibility to rejection without resorting to the imprecision of a phylogenetic classification. The sections that follow will summarize the mechanisms contributing to the susceptibility to hyperacute xenograft rejection and how these mechanisms contribute to the devastating pathological changes characteristic of that lesion.
KeywordsNatural Killer Cell Heparan Sulfate Complement Regulatory Protein Hyperacute Rejection Xenograft Rejection
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