Mordes, John P. Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Billingham, Rupert E. Department of Biology, University of Texas Health and Science Center, Dallas, Texas.
Greiner, Dale L. Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Rossini, Aldo A. Division of Diabetes, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:February 2019
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- Use in experimental biology
- Procurement, storage, and types of grafts
- Transplantation immunology
- Overcoming graft rejection
- Immunosuppressive agents
- Tissue typing
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The science of transferring a graft from one part of the body to another or from one individual (the donor) to another (the recipient). Transplantation biology, also referred to as transplantation medicine, involves the artificial removal of a part of an organism and its replacement in the body of the same individual or a different individual. The part that is transplanted, that is, the graft, may consist of an organ, tissue, or cells. If donor and recipient are the same individual, the graft is autologous. If donor and recipient are genetically identical (monozygotic), it is syngeneic. If donor and recipient are any other same-species individuals, the graft is allogeneic. If the donor and recipient are of different species, it is called xenogeneic. In general, transplantation is used as an effective medical treatment for many diseases. It is often a complicated process, though, especially when a transplanted graft is rejected by the recipient's immune system. However, with modern-day advancements in the understanding of the biology of transplantation antigens and the immunology of rejection, the grafting of replacement organs and tissues to cure disease has increased dramatically. For example, kidney (Fig. 1), heart, lung, liver, and pancreas grafts have become commonplace surgical procedures. In addition, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is used in the treatment of a number of medical conditions, including aplastic anemia, leukemia, and immunodeficiency diseases. See also: Antigen; Disease; Immunology; Medicine; Stem cells; Surgery
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