Transplanted organs carry donor immune cells into the recipient, the majority of which are tissue-resident macrophages (TRMs). The role they play in guiding the fate of the transplanted organ toward acceptance or rejection remains elusive. TRMs originate from both embryonic and bone marrow-derived precursors. Embryo-derived TRMs retain the embryonic capability to proliferate, so they are able to self-renew and, theoretically, persist for extended periods of time after transplantation. Bone marrow-derived TRMs do not proliferate and must constantly be replenished by adult circulating monocytes. Recent studies have aimed to clarify the different roles and interactions between donor TRMs, recipient monocytes, and monocyte-derived macrophages (MFs) after organ transplantation. This review aims to shed light on how MFs affect the fate of a transplanted organ by differentiating between the role of donor TRMs and that of MFs derived from graft infiltrating monocytes.

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