Transplantation is the transfer of cells, tissues or organs from one individual to another for a variety of purposes. It is important because it involves the replacement of missing, defective or damaged organs.

Keywords: transplantation; histocompatibility; grafts

Figure 1.

The histocompatibility antigens encoded by the class‐I and class‐II loci of the HLA complex. The class‐I molecules are expressed on the surface of all nucleated cells in the body; class‐II molecules are expressed on a subset of cells, primarily those, such as dendritic cells, macrophages and B lymphocytes that are engaged in antigen processing and presentation. The class‐I and class‐II loci are highly polymorphic.

Figure 2.

Segregation of HLA genes within a family. Because the HLA genes are so closely linked, those present on a given member of a chromosome pair are usually transmitted to the next generation as a unit (called a haplotype). The genes are inherited in a Mendelian fashion so that a given offspring has approximately a one‐fourth chance of having a full sibling inheriting the same combination.


Further Reading

Appelbaum FR (2003) The current status of hematopoietic cell transplantation. Annual Review of Medicine 54: 491–512.

Auchinloss H Jr and Sachs DH (1998) Xenogeneic transplantation. Annual Review of Immunology 16: 433–470.

Charlton B, Auchinloss H Jr and Fathman CG (1994) Mechanisms of transplant tolerance. Annual Review of Immunology 12: 707–734.

Gorantla VS, Barker JH, Jones JW Jr et al. (2000) Immunosuppressive agents in transplantation: mechanisms of action and current anti‐rejection strategies. Microsurgery 20: 420–429.

Goulmy E (1996) Human minor histocompatibility antigens. Current Opinions in Immunology 8: 75–81.

Häyry P, Isoniemi H, Yilmay S et al. (1993) Chronic allograft rejection. Immunological Reviews 134: 33–81.

Janeway CA Jr, Travers P, Walport M and Shlomchik M (2001) Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease, 5th edn. New York: Garland Publishing.

Masri MA (2003) The mosaic of immunosuppressive drugs. Molecular Immunology 39: 1073–1077.

Roopenian D, Choi EY and Brown A (2002) The immunogenomics of minor histocompatibility antigens. Immunological Reviews 190: 48–94.

Schroeder RA, Marroquin CE and Kuo PC (2003) Tolerance and the “Holy Grail” of transplantation. Journal of Surgical Research 111: 109–119.

Snell GD, Dausset J and Nathenson S (1976) Histocompatibility. New York: Academic Press.

Waldmann H and Cobbold S (1998) How do monoclonal antibodies induce tolerance? A role for infectious tolerance?. Annual Review of Immunology 16: 619–644.

Wight C and Cohen B (1997) Organ shortages: maximizing the donor potential. British Medical Bulletin 53: 817–828.

Wood KJ (1997) Gene therapy and allotransplantation. Current Opinions in Immunology 9: 662–668.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Melvold, Roger W(Sep 2005) Transplantation. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003997]