Heterogeneity within T cell memory: Implications for transplant tolerance

Scott M. Krummey, Mandy L. Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Adaptive immunity in both mouse and man results in the generation of immunological memory. Memory T cells are both friend and foe to transplant recipients, as they are intimately involved and in many cases absolutely required for the maintenance of protec- tive immunity in the face immunosuppression, yet from the evidence presented herein they clearly constitute a formidable barrier for the successful implementation of tolerance induction strategies in transplantation. This review describes the experimental evidence demonstrating the increased resistance of memory T cells to many distinct tolerance induction strategies, and outlines recent advances in our knowledge of the ways in which alloreactive memory T cells arise in previously untransplanted individuals. Understanding the impact of alloreactive memory T cell specificity, frequency, and quality might allow for better donor selection in order to minimize the donor-reactive memory T cell barrier in an individual transplant recipient, thus allowing stratification of relative risk of alloreactive memory T cell mediated rejection, and conversely increase the likelihood of successful establishment of tolerance. However, further research into the molecular and cellular path- ways involved in alloreactive memoryT cell-mediated rejection is required in order to design new strategies to overcome the memoryT cell barrier, without critically impairing protective immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 36
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Issue numberMAR
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Costimulation
  • Heterologous immunity
  • Memoryt cells
  • Transplantation tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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