Transplantation is often the best option to treat organ end stage failure. Transplanted patients need to take long-term immunosuppressive drugs to inhibit rejection and maintain their graft. But those therapies have numerous important side effects such as cancer induction and opportunistic infections. Thus, the development of novel therapies to induce specific rather than general immunosuppression and therefore, tipping the balance between effector and regulatory functions to inhibit transplant rejection is a major goal in the field. One major approach is the blockade of costimulatory signals to abort effector T-cell activation following TCR engagement and to promote regulatory T cells. Here we summarized the research to date that details immune mechanisms involved in tolerance in organ transplantation and strategies toward tolerance.
Part of the book: Frontiers in Transplantology