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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Transplantation Medicine: Understanding Macrophages to Improve Patient Care (by ASCLS). Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Transplantation History

Transplantation is a life saving process and it has evolved tremendously over the last 300 years. Currently we are able to better understand the immune system and its response which is absolutely responsible for the success of every transplanted organ.
This understanding has come about by many a scientist trying to narrow down which cell exactly is responsible for the process we refer to as rejection which is when the body into which the organ may be transplanted does not accept the organ. The actual cells thought responsible have changed over the years and as such, medications used to arrest or slow these cells down have changed.
This course is intended to give an overview of how we have evolved in the field of transplantation, not only clinically but scientifically. A description of major landmark studies and operations will be highlighted followed by a review of the immune system and its cells that have been investigated over the last several decades.
The days of transplantation go back many many years and always in a quest to better understand immunology and rejection. Professor John Hunter, a noted surgeon in England, was the first to really take on transplantation as a scienctific enterprise. In 1772 he published the very first paper on transplantation which was entitled "The Natural History of Human Teeth" and proposed a form of transplantation.