The Impact of Memory T Cells on Rejection and the Induction of Tolerance

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Accumulating evidence suggests that alloreactive memory T cells (Tm) may be generated in transplant recipients that have not previously been exposed to alloantigen through mechanisms such as cross-reactivity and homeostatic proliferation. The presence of Tm correlates with both acute and chronic rejection episodes and, furthermore, may be responsible for the failure to induce tolerance in large animal and clinical settings. A clearer understanding of how Tm function and their requirements to mount an effective response to alloantigen will be key to further attempts to translate tolerance induction protocols from the experimental setting to the clinic.

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