Research ArticleTRANSPLANTATION

Resident memory T cells form during persistent antigen exposure leading to allograft rejection

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Science Immunology  19 Mar 2021:
Vol. 6, Issue 57, eabc8122
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abc8122

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Memories of rejection

Long-term graft survival after organ transplantation can be hindered by immune-mediated allograft rejection; thus, understanding these immune responses is crucial to developing new transplant-supporting therapies. Tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM), a subset of memory T cells that reside in barrier tissues and do not recirculate, are detectable in transplanted organs, but it is unclear if they contribute to allograft rejection. Abou-Daya et al. created a mouse model of T cell–mediated kidney transplant rejection, showing that adoptively transferred, kidney antigen–specific effector T cells differentiated into functional, nonrecirculating antigen-specific TRM in the transplanted kidneys. These kidney antigen–specific TRM induced allograft rejection. These data suggest that TRM in transplanted allografts can contribute to rejection and that targeting alloreactive TRM might improve long-term graft survival in transplant recipients.

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