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Xenotransplantation. 2010 Jul-Aug;17(4):300-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3089.2010.00600.x.

Occurrence of specific humoral non-responsiveness to swine antigens following administration of GalT-KO bone marrow to baboons.

Author information

  • 1Transplantation Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02129, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hematopoietic chimerism induces transplantation tolerance across allogeneic and xenogeneic barriers, but has been difficult to achieve in the pig-to-primate model. We have now utilized swine with knockout of the gene coding for alpha-1,3-galactosyltransferase (GalT-KO pigs) as bone marrow donors in an attempt to achieve chimerism and tolerance by avoiding the effects of natural antibodies to Gal determinants on pig hematopoietic cells.

METHODS:

Baboons (n = 4; Baboons 1 to 4 = B156, B158, B167, and B175, respectively) were splenectomized and conditioned with TBI (150 cGy), thymic irradiation (700 cGy), T cell depletion with rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin (rATG) and rat anti-primate CD2 (LoCD2b), and received FK506 and supportive therapy for 28 days. All animals received GalT-KO bone marrow (1 to 2 x 10(9) cells/kg) in two fractions on days 0 and 2, and were thereafter monitored for the presence of pig cells by flow cytometry, for porcine progenitor cells by PCR of BM colony-forming units, and for cellular reactivity to pig cells by mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR). In vitro antibody formation to LoCD2b and rATG was tested by ELISA; antibody reactivity to GalT-KO pig cells was tested by flow cytometry and cytotoxicity assays. Additionally, Baboons 3 and 4 received orthotopic kidney transplants on days 17 and 2, respectively, to test the potential impact of the protocol on renal transplantation.

RESULTS:

None of the animals showed detectable pig cells by flow cytometry for more than 12 h post-BM infusion. However, porcine progenitor cell engraftment, as evidenced by pig-derived colony forming units in the BM, as well as peripheral microchimerism in the thymus, lymph node, and peripheral blood was detected by PCR in baboons 1 and 2 for at least 28 days post-transplant. ELISA results confirmed humoral immunocompetence at time of transplantation as antibody titers to rat (LoCD2b) and rabbit (ATG) increased within 2 weeks. However, no induced antibodies to GalT-KO pig cells or increased donor specific cytotoxicity was detectable by flow cytometry. In contrast, baboons 3 and 4 developed serum antibodies to pig cells as well as to rat and rabbit immunoglobulin by day 14. Retrospective analysis revealed that although all four baboons possessed low levels of antibody-mediated cytotoxicity to GalT-KO cells prior to transplantation, the two baboons (3 and 4) that became sensitized to pig cells (and rejected pig kidneys) had relatively high pre-transplantation titers of anti-non-Gal IgG detectable by flow cytometry, whereas baboons 1 and 2 had undetectable titers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Engraftment and specific non-responsiveness to pig cells has been achieved in two of four baboons following GalT-KO pig-to-baboon BMT. Engraftment correlated with absence of preformed anti-non-Gal IgG serum antibodies. These results are encouraging with regard to the possibility of achieving transplantation tolerance across this xenogeneic barrier.

(c) 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

PMID:
20723202
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2942069
Free PMC Article

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