Cytolytic molecules in rejection

Carol Clayberger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Acute and chronic rejection are major problems in clinical transplantation. Rejection is largely mediated by natural killer (NK) and T cells that use cytolytic molecules, including perforin, granzymes, granulysin, and Fas ligand, to eliminate the allograft. The purpose of this review is to inform the reader of recent advances in our understanding of the roles of cytolytic molecules in rejection and their potential as biomarkers of rejection. RECENT FINDINGS: Although it is well accepted that T cells are the major effector cells in acute rejection, there is an increasing recognition that cells of the innate immune system, and in particular NK cells, also play a major role in allograft rejection. SUMMARY: Both NK cells and cytotoxic T cells contribute to acute rejection. The major molecules involved include perforin, granzymes, granulysin, and Fas ligand. Molecular profiles that include these and other molecules may allow better management of organ allograft recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-33
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Organ Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009


  • Fas ligand
  • Granulysin
  • Granzymes
  • Perforin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation


Dive into the research topics of 'Cytolytic molecules in rejection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this