Evidence suggesting that deletion of expression of N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) in the organ-source pig is associated with increased antibody-mediated rejection of kidney transplants in baboons

Academic Article


  • Pigs deficient in three glycosyltransferase enzymes (triple-knockout [TKO] pigs) and expressing “protective” human transgenes are likely sources of organs for transplantation into human recipients. Testing of human sera against red blood cells (RBCs) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from TKO pigs has revealed minimal evidence of natural antibody binding. However, unlike humans, baboons exhibit natural antibody binding to TKO pig cells. The xenoantigen specificities of these natural antibodies are postulated to be one or more carbohydrate moieties exposed when N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) is deleted. The aim of this study was to compare the survival of renal grafts in baboons from pigs that either expressed Neu5Gc (GTKO pigs; Group1, n = 5) or did not express Neu5Gc (GTKO/CMAHKO [DKO] or TKO pigs; Group2, n = 5). An anti-CD40mAb-based immunosuppressive regimen was administered in both groups. Group1 kidneys functioned for 90-260 days (median 237, mean 196 days), with histopathological features of antibody-mediated rejection in two kidneys. Group2 kidneys functioned for 0-183 days (median 35, mean 57), with all of the grafts exhibiting histologic features of antibody-mediated rejection. These findings suggest that the absence of expression of Neu5Gc on pig kidneys impacts graft survival in baboon recipients.
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    Author List

  • Iwase H; Jagdale A; Yamamoto T; Bikhet MH; Nguyen HQ; Ezzelarab M; Ayares D; Anderson DJ; Eckhoff DE; Foote JB
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 4