IN VIVO DEPLETION OF XENOREACTIVE NATURAL ANTIBODIES WITH AN ANTI-μ MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY1,2

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Abstract

Hyperacute rejection of vascularized discordant xenografts, such as pig-to-primate kidney or heart xenotransplants, is thought to be mediated by xenoreactive natural antibodies (XNA) of the IgM isotype and the activation of the classic pathway of complement. Using the guinea pig-to-rat discordant xenograft model, we have developed a potential therapeutic protocol leading to long-term depletion of circulating IgM in adult animals. This protocol consists of the injection into adult LOU/C rats of an antirat IgM MAb (MARM-7) after splenectomy, plasma exchange, and the administration of an anti-B cell immunosuppressant, mycophenylate mofetil (RS61443). Splectomized plasma exchanged adult rats receiving RS61443 showed strongly decreased IgG and IgM serum concentrations for a relatively short period during which these isotypes remained nevertheless detectable by a sensitive ELISA technique. In contrast to IgM, IgG in serum returned, shortly after the end of this treatment, to normal concentrations. Splenectomy alone was able to significantly decrease, for a long period (more than 70 days), IgM but not IgG serum concentrations in these rats. During this treatment, IgM XNA concentration mirrored total IgM. The injection of MARM-7 MAb to adult LOU/C rats was able to deplete circulating IgM and IgM XNA for a period of several weeks during which IgM was undetectable by a sensitive ELISA technique. Depletion time was dose-dependent—the higher the dose of injected MARM-7, the longer the period for which IgM and IgM XNA remained undetectable. Moreover depletion of circulating IgM was correlated with the detection in the serum of these rats of noncomplexed, free MARM-7. Finally, MARM-7 administration was significantly more efficacious in rats that had decreased levels of circulating IgM after splenectomy, plasma exchange, and administration of RS61443. These experiments suggest that the anti-p approach may allow depletion of IgM XNA for a sufficiently long period to test the hypothesis of “accommodation” in other xenograft models such as the pig-to-primate xenograft or even in ABO-incompatible allografts.

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