Microbiota in heart and lung transplantation: Implications for innate-Adaptive immune interface

Yun Zhu Bai, Sophia H. Roberts, Daniel Kreisel, Ruben G. Nava

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewTransplantation continues to be the only treatment option for end-stage organ failure when other interventions have failed. Although short-Term outcomes have improved due to advances in perioperative care, long-Term outcomes continue to be adversely affected by chronic rejection. Little is known about the role microbiota play in modulating alloimmune responses and potentially contributing to graft failure. Initial data have identified a correlation between specific changes of the recipient and/or donor microbiota and transplant outcomes. In this review, we will focus on recent findings concerning the complex interplay between microbiota and the innate immune system after heart and lung transplantation.Recent findingsGut microbiome derangements in heart failure promote an inflammatory state and have lasting effects on the innate immune system, with an observed association between increased levels of microbiota-dependent metabolites and acute rejection after cardiac transplantation. The lung allograft microbiome interacts with components of the innate immune system, such as toll-like receptor signalling pathways, NKG2C+ natural killer cells and the NLRP3 inflammasome, to alter posttransplant outcomes, which may result in the development of chronic rejection.SummaryThe innate immune system is influenced by alterations in the microbiome before and after heart and lung transplantation, thereby offering potential therapeutic targets for prolonging allograft survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-614
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in organ transplantation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • chronic rejection
  • heart transplantation
  • innate immunity
  • lung transplantation
  • microbial dysbiosis
  • microbiome


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