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Open Access Open Badges Review

Macrophages in solid organ transplantation

Xinguo Jiang12*, Wen Tian1, Yon K Sung1, Jin Qian1 and Mark R Nicolls13*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, VA Palo Alto Health Care System/Division of Pulmonary/Critical Care, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94304, USA

2 VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Bldg 101, A4-151, 3801 Miranda Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA

3 VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Med111P, 3801 Miranda Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA

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Vascular Cell 2014, 6:5  doi:10.1186/2045-824X-6-5

Published: 11 March 2014


Macrophages are highly plastic hematopoietic cells with diversified functions related to their anatomic location and differentiation states. A number of recent studies have examined the role of macrophages in solid organ transplantation. These studies show that macrophages can induce allograft injury but, conversely, can also promote tissue repair in ischemia-reperfusion injury and acute rejection. Therapeutic strategies that target macrophages to improve outcomes in solid organ transplant recipients are being examined in preclinical and clinical models. In this review, we discuss the role of macrophages in different types of injury and rejection, with a focus on macrophage-mediated tissue injury, specifically vascular injury, repair and remodeling. We also discuss emerging macrophage-centered therapeutic opportunities in solid organ transplantation.

Macrophage; Transplantation; Ischemia reperfusion injury; Acute rejection; Graft vascular disease