Towards regulatory cellular therapies in solid organ transplantation

Trends Immunol. 2022 Jan;43(1):8-21. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2021 Nov 26.


Organ transplantation is a modern medical success story. However, since its inception it has been limited by the need for pharmacological immunosuppression. Regulatory cellular therapies offer an attractive solution to these challenges by controlling transplant alloresponses through multiple parallel suppressive mechanisms. A number of cell types have seen an accelerated development into human trials and are now on the threshold of a long-awaited breakthrough in personalized transplant therapeutics. Here we assess recent developments with a focus on the most likely candidates, some of which have already facilitated successful immunosuppression withdrawal in early clinical trials. We propose that this may constitute a promising approach in clinical transplantation but also evaluate outstanding issues in the field, providing cause for cautious optimism.

Keywords: cellular therapy; clinical trials; immunosuppression; organ transplantation; tolerance.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Organ Transplantation*
  • Transplantation Tolerance*