Host Graft Adaptation

The term host-graft adaptation describes the decreased immune response against the allograft over time. This phenomenon is evident by the reduced incidence of acute rejection episodes seen months after the transplant procedure. In theory, host-graft adaptation is thought to be secondary to a weakened T-cell response to the donor anti-

gens when patients are receiving maintenance immunosuppression. Tolerance

Tolerance is the process that allows organ-specific antigens to be accepted as self. This would mean that the immune system would cease to respond to the allograft and immunosuppressive medications would not be required. Immune tolerance has been

achieved in the lab, but has yet to be successfully accomplished in humans. The definition of "achieved tolerance" is highly variable and subjective. Currently, a number of protocols focusing on testing clinically-safe regimens to achieve chimerism or tolerance are being studied.

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