Direct and indirect recognition: the role of MHC antigens in graft rejection

Immunol Today. 1999 Feb;20(2):77-82. doi: 10.1016/s0167-5699(98)01394-2.


In graft rejection, T-cell stimulation by donor APCs and self-APCs (presenting peptides of donor origin) has been called 'direct' and 'indirect' recognition, respectively. Here, Dina Gould and Hugh Auchincloss consider the traditional arguments favoring direct recognition and highlight recent findings suggesting the importance of indirect responses, thereby questioning some of our basic concepts of transplantation immunology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / transplantation
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology
  • Humans
  • Isoantigens / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Models, Immunological
  • Skin Transplantation / immunology


  • Autoantigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Isoantigens