CD47: a new player in phagocytosis and xenograft rejection

Cell Mol Immunol. 2011 Jul;8(4):285-8. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2010.83. Epub 2011 Jan 24.


Organ transplantation is limited by the availability of human donor organs. The transplantation of organs and tissues from other species (xenotransplantation) would supply an unlimited number of organs and offer many other advantages for which the pig has been identified as the most suitable source. However, the robust immune responses to xenografts remain a major obstacle to clinical application of xenotransplantation. The more vigorous xenograft rejection relative to allograft rejection is largely accounted for by the extensive genetic disparities between the donor and recipient. Xenografts activate host immunity not only by expressing immunogenic xenoantigens that provide the targets for immune recognition and rejection, but also by lacking ligands for the host immune inhibitory receptors. This review is focused on recent findings regarding the role of CD47, a ligand of an immune inhibitory receptor, signal regulatory protein alpha (SIRPα), in phagocytosis and xenograft rejection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD47 Antigen / genetics
  • CD47 Antigen / immunology*
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Phagocytosis / immunology*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous / immunology*


  • CD47 Antigen