The unique immunobiology of the skin: implications for tolerance of vascularized composite allografts

Chadha, R., Leonard, D. A. , Kurtz, J. M. and Cetrulo Jr, C. L. (2014) The unique immunobiology of the skin: implications for tolerance of vascularized composite allografts. Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation, 19(6), pp. 566-572. (doi: 10.1097/mot.0000000000000136) (PMID:25333830)

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Purpose of review: Vascularized composite allograft (VCA) transplantation restores function and form following major soft tissue and musculoskeletal injury. Lifelong immunosuppression is necessary for graft function and survival but acute skin-targeted rejection episodes remain common. We review recent advances in skin immunobiology, emphasizing findings in clinical and experimental VCAs. We also highlight advances in immunotherapy and tolerance protocols with implications for the prevention of VCA rejection, and ultimately, induction of clinically applicable strategies for VCA tolerance. Recent findings: There is now an increasing appreciation for the role of skin-specific mechanisms, including lymphoid neogenesis, in VCA rejection. In contrast, expression of the regulatory master-switch FOXP3 was demonstrated to be significantly upregulated in the skin of tolerant VCAs in large animal models compared with normal skin and rejecting controls. Summary: Most VCA transplant centers continue to utilize antibody-mediated induction therapy and triple agent maintenance immunosuppression. Skin remains the primary target of rejection in VCAs, and current multicenter studies hope to elucidate the mechanisms involved. Proposed standardized procedures for skin biopsies, and diligent reporting of clinical data to the international registry, will be important to maximize the strength of these studies.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Leonard, Dr David
Authors: Chadha, R., Leonard, D. A., Kurtz, J. M., and Cetrulo Jr, C. L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation
Publisher:Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
ISSN (Online):1531-7013

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