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Author Topic: Can transplanted organs mount an immune response against the recipient?  (Read 4240 times)

Offline Refractor

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Geoff asked the Naked Scientists:

I understand that when a person receives an organ transplant they have to receive immuno-suppressant medication to avoid the organ being rejected.  

I'm curious as to whether the organ mounts any kind of immune response against the recipient, and not just the other way around? Also, does the recipient 'acquire' any of the immunities the donor developed from previous infections?

Thanks
Geoff
Bundaberg, Australia

What do you think?


 

Offline RD

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The recipient can unintentionally acquire immune cells from the organ donor.  It has been found doing this deliberately, by transplanting bone marrow (the origin of immune cells) with the organ, decreases the chance that the transplanted organ will be rejected...

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ScienceDaily (Apr. 22, 1999) WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21, 1999 --
Organ rejection occurs less often and is less severe in patients who receive infusions of bone marrow from the same donor, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh's Thomas E. Stael Transplantation Institute report today at Experimental Biology 99. Their findings, which represent six years of study of patients who received the extra boost of donor immune system cells, indicate the procedure is safe and augments the cellular environment that the research team believes is necessary for longtime acceptance of a transplanted organ.

By giving donor bone marrow, the researchers aim was to enhance the cellular environment called chimerism, defined as the coexistence of recipient and donor immune cells. Having already proved that chimerism is present in longtime survivors of organ transplants, some of whom have been weaned from a lifelong regimen of omnipresent drugs, researchers wanted to promote, even hasten this biological process with bone marrow.

"We believe chimerism is a prerequisite for but not synonymous with longtime acceptance of the donor organ. Achieving a stable chimeric state is the first step to longtime tolerance," says Dr. Ra.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990422055930.HTML
« Last Edit: 09/11/2008 23:47:26 by RD »
 

Offline Refractor

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The recipient can unintentionally acquire immune cells from the organ donor.  It has been found doing this deliberately, by transplanting bone marrow (the origin of immune cells) with the organ, decreases the chance that the transplanted organ will be rejected...

Wouldn't the reduced risk of rejection be more about the the recipient's immune system recognising the donor's organ as 'self' rather than any acquired immunity?

 

Offline RD

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Geoff asked the Naked Scientists:
I'm curious as to whether the organ mounts any kind of immune response against the recipient

Yes transplanted immune cells can attack their host (the recipient)...
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Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a common complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in which functional immune cells in the transplanted marrow recognize the recipient as "foreign" and mount an immunologic attack.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graft-versus-host_disease

 

Offline Pseudogene

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Hence the need to HLA match so closely between recipient and donor.
 

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