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This is the final published version of the article from the journal Frontiers in Immunology, 2021 Nov 22;12:667834.

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Publication made possible in part by support from the Jefferson Open Access Fund


Transplantation (Tx) remains the optimal therapy for end-stage disease (ESD) of various solid organs. Although alloimmune events remain the leading cause of long-term allograft loss, many patients develop innate and adaptive immune responses leading to graft tolerance. The focus of this review is to provide an overview of selected aspects of the effects of inflammation on this delicate balance following solid organ transplantation. Initially, we discuss the inflammatory mediators detectable in an ESD patient. Then, the specific inflammatory mediators found post-Tx are elucidated. We examine the reciprocal relationship between donor-derived passenger leukocytes (PLs) and those of the recipient, with additional emphasis on extracellular vesicles, specifically exosomes, and we examine their role in determining the balance between tolerance and rejection. The concept of recipient antigen-presenting cell "cross-dressing" by donor exosomes is detailed. Immunological consequences of the changes undergone by cell surface antigens, including HLA molecules in donor and host immune cells activated by proinflammatory cytokines, are examined. Inflammation-mediated donor endothelial cell (EC) activation is discussed along with the effect of donor-recipient EC chimerism. Finally, as an example of a specific inflammatory mediator, a detailed analysis is provided on the dynamic role of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and its receptor post-Tx, especially given the potential for therapeutic interdiction of this axis with monoclonal antibodies. We aim to provide a holistic as well as a reductionist perspective of the inflammation-impacted immune events that precede and follow Tx. The objective is to differentiate tolerogenic inflammation from that enhancing rejection, for potential therapeutic modifications.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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