BACKGROUND: The 20th century represents a breakthrough in the transplantation era, since the first kidney transplantation between identical twins was performed. This is the first case of tolerance, since the recipient did not need immunosuppression. However, as transplantation became possible, an immunosuppression-free status became the ultimate goal, since the first tolerance case was a clear exception from the hard reality nowadays represented by rejection.
METHODS: A plethora of studies were described over the past decades to understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for rejection. This review focuses on the most relevant studies found in literature where renal tolerance cases are claimed. Contrasting and at the same time encouraging outcomes are herein discussed and a glimpse on the main renal biomarkers analyzed in this field is provided.
RESULTS: The activation of the immune system has been shown to play a central role in organ failure, but also it seems to induce a tolerance status when an allograft is performed, despite tolerance is still rare to register. Although there are still overwhelming challenges to overcome and various immune pathways remain arcane; the immunosuppression minimization might be more attainable than previously believed.
CONCLUSION: . Multiple biomarkers and tolerance mechanisms suspected to be involved in renal transplantation have been investigated to understand their real role, with still no clear answers on the topic. Thus, the actual knowledge provided necessarily lead to more in-depth investigations, although many questions in the past have been answered, there are still many issues on renal tolerance that need to be addressed.