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Developmental Immunology
Volume 7, Issue 2-4, Pages 239-248

Fibronectin in Immune Responses in Organ Transplant Recipients

1The Dumont-UCLA Transplant Center, Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplantation, Department of Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
2The Abel Salazar Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Porto 4000, Portugal
3The Dumont-UCLA Transplant Center, Rm. 77-120 CHS, 10833 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The immune response to an organ allograft involves perpetuation of T cell infiltration and activation. Advances in understanding the mechanisms of T cell activation have placed particular emphasis on the interactions between the T-cell receptor and antigen presenting cells, with little reference to the fact that in vivo activation occurs in the physical context of extracellular matrix proteins (ECM). Indeed, the possibility that ECM proteins may have a determining role in lymphocyte adhesion and tissue localization and function is now becoming more appreciated in view of growing evidence indicating that integrins and other T cell antigens bind ECM components, with some of these components exerting synergistic effects on T- cell activation. This review focuses on the importance of interactions between lymphocytes and fibronectin, a prominent ECM component, for cell migration and function in organ allograft recipients. It explores novel therapeutic approaches based on the assumption that fibronectin represents an active element in the process of T cell activation in the immune cascade triggered by organ transplantation.