The evolving roles of memory immune cells in transplantation
Memory cells are the products of immune responses but also exert significant impact on subsequent immunity and immune tolerance, thus placing them in a unique position in transplant research. Memory cells are heterogeneous, including not only memory T cells but also memory B cells and innate memory cells. Memory cells are a critical component of protective immunity against invading pathogens, especially in immunosuppressed patients, but they also mediate graft loss and tolerance resistance. Recent studies suggest that some memory cells unexpectedly act as regulatory cells, promoting rather than hindering transplant survival. This functional diversity makes therapeutic targeting of memory cells a challenging task in transplantation. In this article, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of memory cells, focusing on diversity of memory cells and mechanisms involved in their induction and functions. We also provide a broad overview on the challenges and opportunities in targeting memory cells in the induction of transplant tolerance.