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Organ Transplant

Organ Transplant

Description:

This lesson will investigate why a persons body might either accept or reject a transplanted tissue or organ.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This lesson will focus on the immune system response to organ transplants by examining:

  1. Organ Transplants
  2. Steps to Ensure Acceptance

1.Organ Transplants

Organ transplant is a common practice in the medical field, and can involve the transplant of various types of body organs. Sometimes these organs are rejected by the body when they're transplanted from one person to another.

The reason that these organs are sometimes rejected is because of cytotoxic T cells. This happens because they will notice that the cells of that organ may not have the proper MHC markers on them and will attack the cells of that organ.

Term to Know

    • Cytotoxic T Cells
    • Cytotoxic T cells directly carry out the attack on bad, infected or defective cells during adaptive immunity. They attack by secreting proteins that puncture the cell membrane, and then they release lytic enzymes into the cell that cause its internal destruction. This process will eventually induce apoptosis of the damaged cell.

MHC markers are markers found on our cells, that mark the cell as "self," so that our immune system knows not to attack it. When an organ is transplanted, sometimes those MHC markers won't match, cytotoxic T cells will recognize that, and then cause those cells to become attacked. Thus, having your body reject that transplant.

Term to Know

    • MHC Markers
    • Cellular markers that play an important role in mediating white blood cell activity. There are many variants of the MHC, and matching the MHCs of organ donor and recipient is an important measure in preventing organ transplant rejection.

MHC markers are specific to the person, but sometimes one person's MHC markers can be similar enough to another person's that the body won't really recognize it as that different of a cell, and it will be accepted.


2. Steps to Ensure Acceptance

Some steps that are taken before a transplant can be important in making sure that the transplant is accepted:

  • MHC markers of the organ are analyzed to see how closely they will match the recipient's MHC markers. Generally close relatives will have the best match, and therefore, are less likely to be rejected by the body
  • Blood typing is done. The blood types of the donor and recipient must also be compatible, because agglutination will happen if they are not. If you're mixing two blood types that are incompatible, it will cause the blood to clot and blood cells to burst. This can cause death.

Post surgery, drugs are generally given to the recipient. These drugs will suppress the immune system so that it does not respond to the new organ. This allows the body to acclimate to this new organ and accept it.

Summary

Organ transplant is a common medical practice, but sometimes organs can be rejected. This is because cytotoxic T-cells don't recognize the MHC markers of the organ and begin to attack it. Steps are taken to ensure acceptance such as matching the MHC markers of an organ and a person and matching blood types. Patients also receive drugs following surgery to suppress their immune system.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!


Source: Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Cytotoxic T Cells

    Cytotoxic T cells directly carry out the attack on bad, infected or defective cells during adaptive immunity. They attack by secreting proteins that puncture the cell membrane, and then they release lytic enzymes into the cell that cause its internal destruction. This process will eventually induce apoptosis of the damaged cell.

  • MHC Markers

    Cellular markers that play an important role in mediating white blood cell activity. There are many variants of the MHC, and matching the MHCs of organ donor and recipient is an important measure in preventing organ transplant rejection.