Introducing thymus for promoting transplantation tolerance

Zachary W. Fitch, Lillian Kang, Jie Li, Stuart J. Knechtle, Joseph W. Turek, Allan D. Kirk, M. Louise Markert, Jean Kwun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Establishing tolerance remains a central, if elusive, goal of transplantation. In solid-organ transplantation, one strategy for inducing tolerance has been cotransplantation of various forms of thymic tissue along with another organ. As one of the biological foundations of central tolerance, thymic tissue carries with it the ability to induce tolerance to any other organ or tissue from the same donor (or another donor tissue-matched to the thymic tissue) if successfully transplanted. In this review, we outline the history of this approach as well as work to date on its application in organ transplantation, concluding with future directions. We also review our experience with allogeneic processed thymus tissue for the treatment of congenital athymia, encompassing complete DiGeorge syndrome and other rare genetic disorders, and consider whether allogeneic processed thymic tissue implantation may offer a novel method for future experimentation with tolerance induction in organ transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-556
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Volume150
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • DiGeorge syndrome
  • T cells
  • Thymus transplantation
  • organ transplantation
  • tolerance

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