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Immunological tolerance or functional unresponsiveness to a transplant is arguably the only approach that is likely to provide long-term graft survival without the problems associated with life-long global immunosuppression. Over the past 50 years, rodent models have become an invaluable tool for elucidating the mechanisms of tolerance to alloantigens. Importantly, rodent models can be adapted to ensure that they reflect more accurately the immune status of human transplant recipients. More recently, the development of genetically modified mice has enabled specific insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms that play a key role in both the induction and maintenance of tolerance to be obtained and more complex questions to be addressed. This review highlights strategies designed to induce alloantigen specific immunological unresponsiveness leading to transplantation tolerance that have been developed through the use of experimental models.

Original publication




Journal article


Transpl Int

Publication Date





828 - 841


Animals, Disease Models, Animal, Graft Survival, Immune Tolerance, Immunity, Cellular, Organ Transplantation, Rodentia, T-Lymphocytes