The presence of bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT) in donor lungs has been suggested to accelerate graft rejection after lung transplantation. Although chronic smoke exposure can induce BALT formation, the impact of donor cigarette use on alloimmune responses after lung transplantation is not well understood. Here, we show that smoking-induced BALT in mouse donor lungs contains Foxp3+ T cells and undergoes dynamic restructuring after transplantation, including recruitment of recipient-derived leukocytes to areas of pre-existing lymphoid follicles and replacement of graft-resident donor cells. Our findings from mouse and human lung transplant data support the notion that a donor's smoking history does not predispose to acute cellular rejection or prevent the establishment of allograft acceptance with comparable outcomes to nonsmoking donors. Thus, our work indicates that BALT in donor lungs is plastic in nature and may have important implications for modulating proinflammatory or tolerogenic immune responses following transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-292
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • donor smoking
  • graft rejection
  • lung transplantation
  • tertiary lymphoid organs


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