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Cell Transplant. 2010;19(11):1383-95. doi: 10.3727/096368910X513991. Epub 2010 Jun 29.

Evaluation of 28 human embryonic stem cell lines for use as unrelated donors in stem cell therapy: implications of HLA and ABO genotypes.

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  • 1CHA Stem Cell Institute, CHA University, Seoul, Korea.


For human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to be used clinically, it is imperative that immune responses evoked by hESCs and their derivates after transplantation should be prevented. Human leukocyte antigens (HLA) and ABO blood group antigens are important histocompatibility factors in graft rejection. HLA matching between recipient and unrelated donors, in particular, is important in improving outcomes in hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We have established and successfully maintained 29 hESC lines and analyzed the HLA and ABO genotypes of these lines. HLA-A, -B, -C and -DR (DRB1) genotyping was performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) sequence-based typing and ABO genotyping was carried out by PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism methods. To determine what proportion of the Korean population would be covered by these cell lines in organ transplantation, 27 cell lines with HLA-A, -B, and -DR data were evaluated for HCT (cord blood) donors and 28 cell lines with HLA-DR and ABO data were evaluated for solid organ (kidney) transplantation donors, and then compared the data with those from 6,740 donated cord bloods. When 2 HLA mismatches are allowed for HCT, as currently accepted for cord blood transplantation, it was estimated that about 16% and 25% of the possible recipients can find one or more donor cell lines with ≤2 mismatches at A, B, DRB1 allele level and at A, B antigen/DRB1 allele level, respectively. When HLA-DR antigen level matching and ABO compatibility was considered for solid organ (kidney) transplantation, it was estimated that about 29% and 96% of the possible recipients can find one or more ABO-compatible donor cell lines with 0 and 1 DR mismatches, respectively. We provided the first report on the HLA and ABO genotypes of hESC lines, and estimated the degree of HLA and ABO matching in organ transplantation for the Korean population.

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