CELL ADHESION MOLECULES IN CLINICAL RENAL TRANSPLANTATION1


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Abstract

Leukocyte adhesion molecules are critically involved at a number of stages in immune and inflammatory responses, and their importance in the response to a renal allograft has been recognized for some years. They are involved in antigen presentation, in the cascade of events leading to extravasation of leukocytes into the allograft, in the subsequent migration of leukocytes through the extracellular matrix, and in the interactions between effector and target cells. Thus the adhesion molecules are highly attractive targets for therapeutic intervention in organ transplantation. Strategies have been explored to exploit the involvement of adhesion molecules in ischemia/reperfusion injury, allograft rejection, and the induction of immunological tolerance. Furthermore, the expression of a number of adhesion molecules is regulated by cytokines, and elevated levels may be detected both in transplant biopsies and as soluble forms measured in serum and urine. It has been proposed that these changes in levels might provide useful information in the diagnosis of allograft rejection and differentiation from other causes of graft dysfunction.

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