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Biomed Res Int. 2018 Jun 5;2018:1597531. doi: 10.1155/2018/1597531. eCollection 2018.

Immunological Compatibility of Bone Tissues from Alpha-1,3-galactosyltransferase Knockout Pig for Xenotransplantation.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, BK21 Plus Project Team and Biomaterial R&BD Center, Chonnam National University, 77 Yongbong-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 61186, Republic of Korea.
Division of Biotechnology, College of Environmental and Bioresource Sciences, Chonbuk National University, 79 Gobong-ro, Iksan-si, Jeollabuk-do 54596, Republic of Korea.
Animal Biotechnology Division, National Institute of Animal Science, RDA, 1500 Kongjwipatjwi-ro, Iseo-myeon, Wanju-Gun, Jeollabuk-do 55365, Republic of Korea.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, 1 Chungdae-ro, Seowon-Gu, Cheongju Chungbuk 28644, Republic of Korea.
Division of Biotechnology, Advanced Institute of Environment and Bioscience, College of Environmental and Bioresource Sciences, Chonbuk National University, Iksan, Jeonbuk 54596, Republic of Korea.


We investigated whether the lack of galactosyltransferase (α-Gal) expression in bone tissue is associated with reduced immune response of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) against pig bone tissue. When human PBMC obtained from heparinized blood of healthy volunteers was stimulated with bone extracts of pigs with α-1,3-galactosyltransferase knock out (α-Gal KO), the proliferation of human PBMCs and production of proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-1β were significantly reduced compared to those stimulated with bone extracts of wild type (WT) pigs. In addition, activation of CD4+ helper T cells and production of IL-2, IFN-γ, and IL-17 were reduced upon stimulation with bone tissue extracts from α-Gal KO pigs. This is possibly due to the lowered activities of the NF-κB, p38, ERK, and JNK signaling pathways. Our findings can be used to evaluate the compatibility of bone tissues from α-Gal KO pigs with human bone grafting as novel natural biomaterials, thereby increasing the feasibility of future clinical applications.

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