Differential expression of Galα1,3Gal epitopes on fetal and adult porcine hematopoietic cells

Academic Article


  • Galα1-3Gal (Gal) is the major epitope on pig tissues bound by human natural antibodies. Xenogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is being investigated to induce immunological tolerance to xenografts. We have investigated the level of Gal expression on pig hematopoietic cells. Cells were collected from pig fetal liver and bone marrow (BM), and also from adult BM and peripheral blood, before and after treatment with pig-specific hematopoietic growth factors. Fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis was performed with the M86 monoclonal antibody (specific for Gal), lineage markers, and biotinylated stem cell factor (SCF) to detect c-kit expression. In fetal pig BM and liver, there was no significant difference in Gal expression between monocytes/macrophages (myeloid cells) and lymphocytes. In adult hematopoietic cells from all sources, Gal-positive subpopulations in T cells showed weak expression of Gal, whereas B cells demonstrated higher expression, and myeloid cells showed highest expression. Adult BM and mobilized peripheral blood progenitor cells contained small populations with very low or negligible expression of Gal. A very small population of c-kit-positive cells, indicating progenitor cells, were Gal-negative. The small Gal-negative population that exists in progenitor cells might explain why some pig colony forming units (CFU) can be resistant to human serum.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gojo S; Harper D; Down J; Awwad M; Cooper DKC
  • Start Page

  • 297
  • End Page

  • 300
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 4