Despite recent advances in immunosuppression, donor-reactive memory T cells remain a serious threat to successful organ transplantation. To alleviate damaging effects of preexisting immunologic memory, lymphoablative induction therapies are used as part of standard care in sensitized recipients. However, accumulating evidence suggests that memory T cells have advantages over their naive counterparts in surviving depletion and expanding under lymphopenic conditions. This may at least partially explain the inability of existing lymphoablative strategies to improve long-term allograft outcome in sensitized recipients, despite the well-documented decrease in the frequency of early acute rejection episodes. This minireview summarizes the insights gained from both experimental and clinical transplantation as to the effects of existing lymphoablative strategies on memory T cells and discusses the latest research developments aimed at improving the efficacy and safety of lymphoablation.
The authors summarize the known effects of lymphoablation on alloreactive memory T cells and discuss new approaches for improving the efficacy of induction therapies in sensitized transplant recipients.