Memory T cells and their exhaustive differentiation in allograft tolerance and rejection

Anna Valujskikh, Xian C. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Memory T cells have emerged as a major threat to transplant survival; they are well equipped and well positioned to respond to antigens in an accelerated fashion. They participate in transplant rejection and resist interventions that usually contain naïve T cells. Thus, the means to prevent memory T cells from attacking allotransplants are an important issue in transplantation. Recent findings: Recent studies in other models suggest that effector T cells, which include both freshly activated T cells and memory T cells, can acquire 'an exhausted phenotype' in that they progressively lose their effector activities. This response is highly regulated, antigen specific, and driven primarily by antigen persistence. This exhausted phenotype has not been carefully explored in transplant models, and its role in transplant survival remains largely unknown. Summary: Studies of T-cell exhaustion may reveal additional facets of the fundamental mechanisms of transplant survival. T-cell exhaustion may be an alternative way of preventing memory development. Future studies are needed to further improve our understanding of T-cell exhaustion in transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in organ transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • antigen persistence
  • exhaustion
  • T cells
  • tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation


Dive into the research topics of 'Memory T cells and their exhaustive differentiation in allograft tolerance and rejection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this