Granzymes and perforin in solid organ transplant rejection

Cell Death Differ. 2010 Apr;17(4):567-76. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2009.161. Epub 2009 Oct 30.


Rejection of solid organ allografts by the recipient immune system is mediated, to a major extent, by T cell effector mechanisms. Granzymes and perforin are protein regulators of cytotoxic T lymphocyte-mediated target cell death. In this review, I discuss clinical data implicating granzymes and perforin in acute and chronic solid organ transplant rejection, as well as data from cell and animal experiments that support a main role for these effector molecules in allograft rejection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • Granzymes / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / physiology
  • Immunity, Cellular / physiology*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Perforin / physiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • Transplantation, Homologous / immunology


  • Perforin
  • Granzymes