There has recently been remarkable progress in immunosuppressive agents, such as tacrolimus and cyclosporine. Therefore, the rate of organ establishment has improved in transplantation. However, immunosuppressive agents generally suppress the function of T cells. Thus, opportunistic infections, such as cytomegalovirus infection, are still a major problem in kidney transplantation. Induction of specific tolerance to avoid immunosuppressive drug therapy after kidney transplantation is considered as the ultimate goal of transplantation. Various factors induce tolerance that involves establishment of hematopoietic chimerism and various cell subsets. In particular, we have carried out various studies regarding the cyclophosphamide-induced tolerance system. Tolerance is induced after establishment of hematopoietic chimerism after donor bone marrow transplantation. At the clinical stage, kidney transplantation before administration of cyclophosphamide after transfusion of bone marrow to create hematopoietic chimera is considered to be one of the most successful protocols. Furthermore, recent studies have shown the involvement of multiple populations of immune cells in preserving immunological tolerance and promoting long-term renal grafts. The present review focuses on how cyclophosphamide and other immune factors induce tolerance in kidney transplantation.
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