Kinetics and character of xenoantibody formation in diabetic patients transplanted with fetal porcine islet cell clusters

Masahiro Satake, Makiko Kumagai‐Braesch, Naoki Kawagishi, Annika Tibell, Carl‐Gustav ‐G Groth, Erna Moller

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Porcine fetal islet‐like cell clusters (ICC) were transplanted to 10 renal transplant patients suffering from long‐standing type I diabetes. Since they had renal grafts, they were given immunosuppression with cyclosporine, prednisolone and azathioprine. Eight patients had the ICC injected intraportally and two had the ICC placed under the renal graft capsule. At the time of the xenotransplantation, ATG or 15‐deoxyspergualin was given as an adjunct. Evidence of engraftment, as reflected by excretion of small amounts of porcine C‐peptide into the urine, was observed in four of the patients. In all patients, irrespective of the type of immunosuppression given and whether graft function was established or not, specific xenoantibodies were formed. Titer increases in lymphocytotoxic antibodies occurred after 10 to 14 days with peak reactivity after 30 to 50 days. High titers of ADCC activity measured against porcine lymphoblasts were found in all patients. Titers were maintained at a high level for at least 100 days. Antibody titers were monitored against pig lymphocytes, erythrocytes and against pig membrane antigens solubilized from peripheral blood mononuclear cells, platelets and erythrocytes. Both IgM and IgG antibodies were formed with identical kinetics. There was no increase in the titers of alloantibodies, as evidenced by panel‐reactive lymphocytotoxic antibodies. In all patients an increase in titers of isohemagglutinins was recorded, especially against blood group B antigens. Absorption studies showed that xenoreactivity present in healthy individuals could not be blocked by absorption with human RBC. However, in all transplanted patients, xenoreactivities against pig antigens were inhibited by absorption with human RBC, in particular with B‐type RBC. These data show that the increase in isohemagglutinins was probably due to cross‐reactivity with xenogeneic antigens. Using an ELISA assay, increased antibody titers were also recorded against purified pig MHC class I antigens. However, as is shown in the accompanying paper (next issue), these antibodies were probably not directed against protein determinants on the MHC molecules but rather against glycosylated side chains of these molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-35
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Aug


  • immunosuppressive drugs
  • islet cell transplantation
  • isohemagglutinin
  • natural antibody
  • xenoimmunity
  • xenotransplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Transplantation


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