Immune Responses of HLA Highly Sensitized and Nonsensitized Patients to Genetically Engineered Pig Cells

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Abstract

Background

We investigated in vitro whether HLA highly sensitized patients with end-stage renal disease will be disadvantaged immunologically after a genetically engineered pig kidney transplant.

Methods

Blood was drawn from patients with a calculated panel-reactive antibody (cPRA) 99% to 100% (Gp1, n = 10) or cPRA 0% (Gp2, n = 12), and from healthy volunteers (Gp3, n = 10). Serum IgM and IgG binding was measured (i) to galactose-α1-3 galactose and N-glycolylneuraminic acid glycans by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and (ii) to pig red blood cell, pig aortic endothelial cells, and pig peripheral blood mononuclear cell from α1,3-galactosyltransferase gene-knockout (GTKO)/CD46 and GTKO/CD46/cytidine monophosphate-N-acetylneuraminic acid hydroxylase-knockout (CMAHKO) pigs by flow cytometry. (iii) T-cell and B-cell phenotypes were determined by flow cytometry, and (iv) proliferation of T-cell and B-cell carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester-mixed lymphocyte reaction.

Results

(i) By enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, there was no difference in IgM or IgG binding to galactose-α1-3 galactose or N-glycolylneuraminic acid between Gps1 and 2, but binding was significantly reduced in both groups compared to Gp3. (ii) IgM and IgG binding in Gps1 and 2 was also significantly lower to GTKO/CD46 pig cells than in healthy controls, but there were no differences between the 3 groups in binding to GTKO/CD46/CMAHKO cells. (iii and iv) Gp1 patients had more memory T cells than Gp2, but there was no difference in T or B cell proliferation when stimulated by any pig cells. The proliferative responses in all 3 groups were weakest when stimulated by GTKO/CD46/CMAHKO pig peripheral blood mononuclear cell.

Conclusions

(i) End-stage renal disease was associated with low antipig antibody levels. (ii) Xenoreactivity decreased with increased genetic engineering of pig cells. (iii) High cPRA status had no significant effect on antibody binding or T-cell and B-cell response.

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