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Initial in vitro studies on tissues and cells from GTKO/CD46/NeuGcKO pigs. Xenotransplantation 2016 03;23(2):137-50



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Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84961142164   35 Citations


BACKGROUND: The impact that the absence of expression of NeuGc in pigs might have on pig organ or cell transplantation in humans has been studied in vitro, but only using red blood cells (pRBCs) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (pPBMCs) as the target cells for immune assays. We have extended this work in various in vitro models and now report our initial results.

METHODS: The models we have used involve GTKO/hCD46 and GTKO/hCD46/NeuGcKO pig aortas and corneas, and pRBCs, pPBMCs, aortic endothelial cells (pAECs), corneal endothelial cells (pCECs), and isolated pancreatic islets. We have investigated the effect of the absence of NeuGc expression on (i) human IgM and IgG binding, (ii) the T-cell proliferative response, (iii) human platelet aggregation, and (iv) in an in vitro assay of the instant blood-mediated inflammatory reaction (IBMIR) following exposure of pig islets to human blood/serum.

RESULTS: The lack of expression of NeuGc on some pig tissues (aortas, corneas) and cells (RBCs, PBMCs, AECs) significantly reduces the extent of human antibody binding. In contrast, the absence of NeuGc expression on some pig tissues (CECs, isolated islet cells) does not reduce human antibody binding, possibly due to their relatively low NeuGc expression level. The strength of the human T-cell proliferative response may also be marginally reduced, but is already weak to GTKO/hCD46 pAECs and islet cells. We also demonstrate that the absence of NeuGc expression on GTKO/hCD46 pAECs does not reduce human platelet aggregation, and nor does it significantly modify the IBMIR to pig islets.

CONCLUSION: The absence of NeuGc on some solid organs from GTKO/hCD46/NeuGcKO pigs should reduce the human antibody response after clinical transplantation when compared to GTKO/hCD46 pig organs. However, the clinical benefit of using certain tissue (e.g., cornea, islets) from GTKO/hCD46/NeuGcKO pigs is questionable.

Author List

Lee W, Hara H, Ezzelarab MB, Iwase H, Bottino R, Long C, Ramsoondar J, Ayares D, Cooper DK


Whayoung Lee MD Assistant Professor in the Pathology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Animals, Genetically Modified
Cells, Cultured
Endothelial Cells
Leukocytes, Mononuclear
Lymphocyte Activation
Membrane Cofactor Protein
Neuraminic Acids
Transplantation, Heterologous