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Natural killer cell-mediated innate microvascular rejection

Graft rejection is traditionally attributed to adaptive immune cells that recognize donor-specific alloantigens, with innate immunity having a secondary role. The finding that recipient natural killer cells are activated by the inability of graft endothelial cells to provide HLA-I-mediated inhibitory signals challenges this dogma and introduces the concept of innate rejection.

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Fig. 1: Missing-self-induced NK-mediated innate microvascular rejection.


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O.T. is grateful for fruitful scientific discussions and constructive insights from A. Koenig, V. Dubois, M. Naesens and F. Lakkis. His work is supported by the Etablissement Français du Sang, the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (PME202206015505).

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Correspondence to Olivier Thaunat.

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Thaunat, O. Natural killer cell-mediated innate microvascular rejection. Nat Rev Nephrol 20, 489–490 (2024).

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