Immune Netw.  2004 Mar;4(1):1-6. 10.4110/in.2004.4.1.1.

Transplantation Immunology from the Historical Perspective

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tumor Immunity Medical Research Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, The Transplantation Research Institute and Xenotransplantation Research Center, SNUMRC, Seoul, Korea. chgpark@plaza.snu.ac.kr

Abstract

Transplantation would be the only way to cure the end-stage organ failure involving heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas. The replacement of the parts of the body damaged to lose its function or lost to trauma must be a dream of human-being. Human history is replete with chimeras, from sphinxes to mermaids, making one wonder if the ancients might actually have dreamed of what now is called 'xenotransplantation'. In the 20th century, the transplantation of organs and tissues to cure disease has become a clinical reality. The development in the fields of surgical techniques, physiology and immunology attributed to the successful transplantation in human. In the center of the successful transplantation lies the progress in understanding the cellular and molecular biology of immune system which led to the development of immunosuppressive drugs and the invention of the concept of immunological tolerance. The mandatory side effects of immunosuppressive drugs including infection and cancer forced us to search alternative approaches along with the development of new immunosuppressive agents. Among the alternative approaches, the induction of a state of immunologic tolerance would be the most promising and the most generic applicability as a future therapy. Recent reports documenting long-term graft survival without immunosuppression suggest that tolerance-based therapies may become a clinical reality. Last year, we saw the epoch making success of overcoming hyperacute rejection in porcine to primate xenotransplantation which will lead porcine to human xenotransplantation to clinical reality. In this review, I dare to summarize the development of transplantation immunology from the perspective of history.

Keyword

Transplantation immunology; tolerance; immunosuppression; history

MeSH Terms

Allergy and Immunology
Chimera
Graft Survival
Heart
Humans
Immune System
Immunosuppression
Immunosuppressive Agents
Inventions
Kidney
Liver
Lung
Molecular Biology
Pancreas
Physiology
Primates
Transplantation Immunology*
Transplantation, Heterologous
Immunosuppressive Agents
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