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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

On-line version ISSN 1414-431X

Abstract

BUENO, V.  and  PESTANA, J.O.M.. The role of CD8+ T cells during allograft rejection. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2002, vol.35, n.11, pp. 1247-1258. ISSN 1414-431X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2002001100001.

Organ transplantation can be considered as replacement therapy for patients with end-stage organ failure. The percent of one-year allograft survival has increased due, among other factors, to a better understanding of the rejection process and new immunosuppressive drugs. Immunosuppressive therapy used in transplantation prevents activation and proliferation of alloreactive T lymphocytes, although not fully preventing chronic rejection. Recognition by recipient T cells of alloantigens expressed by donor tissues initiates immune destruction of allogeneic transplants. However, there is controversy concerning the relative contribution of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells to allograft rejection. Some animal models indicate that there is an absolute requirement for CD4+ T cells in allogeneic rejection, whereas in others CD4-depleted mice reject certain types of allografts. Moreover, there is evidence that CD8+ T cells are more resistant to immunotherapy and tolerance induction protocols. An intense focal infiltration of mainly CD8+CTLA4+ T lymphocytes during kidney rejection has been described in patients. This suggests that CD8+ T cells could escape from immunosuppression and participate in the rejection process. Our group is primarily interested in the immune mechanisms involved in allograft rejection. Thus, we believe that a better understanding of the role of CD8+ T cells in allograft rejection could indicate new targets for immunotherapy in transplantation. Therefore, the objective of the present review was to focus on the role of the CD8+ T cell population in the rejection of allogeneic tissue.

Keywords : Transplantation; Rejection; T cells; Cytokines; Chemokines.

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