Donor cell chimerism permitted by immunosuppressive drugs: a new view of organ transplantation

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 1993 May;14(5):217-23. doi: 10.1016/0165-6147(93)90212-3.


One line of thought in organ transplantation feels that immunosuppressive drugs can lead to tolerance induction by allowing a previously unrecognized common mechanism of cell migration and microchimerism to occur, persist, and in some cases, become drug independent. It has been recognized that there is a spectrum of susceptibility of different organs to cellular rejection and that the variable ability of these organs to induce donor-specific nonreactivity reflects their comparative content of migratory leukocytes. Here, Thomas Starzl and colleagues discuss how many of the enigmas of transplantation immunology can be explained by this chimerism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Chimera / immunology*
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Organ Transplantation*
  • Tissue Donors*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents