α1,3-Galactosyltransferase gene-knockout pigs transgenic for porcine cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 immunoglobulin (pCTLA4-Ig) have been produced to reduce T-cell-mediated rejection following xenotransplantation. The level of soluble pCTLA4-Ig in their blood was greatly in excess of the therapeutic level in patients, rendering the pigs immune-incompetent. Soluble pCTLA4-Ig produced by these transgenic pigs was evaluated for binding to porcine and human (h) B7 molecules, and for its inhibitory effect on allogeneic and xenogeneic human T-cell responses. Porcine CTLA4-Ig-expressing peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and aortic endothelial cells (AECs) were evaluated for their direct inhibitory effect on hCD4 + T-cell responses. Soluble pCTLA4-Ig and purified hCTLA4-Ig showed similar binding to pB7 molecules, but pCTLA4-Ig showed significantly less binding to hB7 molecules. The pCTLA4-Ig and hCTLA4-Ig inhibited the response of hCD4 + T cells to pAECs equally, but pCTLA4-Ig was less successful in inhibiting the human allogeneic response. The hCD4 + T-cell response to PBMCs from pCTLA4-Ig pigs was significantly lower than that of non-pCTLA4-Ig pigs. Although pCTLA4-Ig was detected in the cytoplasm of pCTLA4-Ig-expressing pAECs, only a minimal level of soluble pCTLA4-Ig was detected in the supernatant during culture, and pCTLA4-Ig-expressing pAECs did not inhibit the xenogeneic direct human T-cell response. High-level tissue-specific production of pCTLA4-Ig may be required for sufficient immunosuppression for organ or cell (e.g. islets) transplantation. © 2011 The Authors. Immunology © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.