Depletion of anti-gal antibodies in baboons by intravenous therapy with bovine serum albumin conjugated to Gal oligosaccharides

Academic Article


  • Background. Anti-Galα 1-3Gal (Gal) antibodies (Ab) play a key role in the rejection of pig cells or organs transplanted into primates. A course of extracorporeal immunoadsorption (EIA) of anti-Gal Ab using an immunoaffinity column of a Gal type 6 oligosaccharide depletes Ab successfully, but Ab returns during the next few days. Although therapy with an anti-CD154 monoclonal antibody (mAb) prevents an induced Ab response to Gal or non-Gal epitopes, T cell-independent natural anti-Gal IgM and IgG return to baseline (pretransplant) levels. We have investigated the capacity of continuous i.v. infusion of bovine serum albumin conjugated to Gal type 6 oligosaccharide (BSAGal) to deplete or maintain depletion of circulating anti-Gal Ab. Methods. Porcine peripheral blood mobilized progenitor cells (PBPC) obtained by leukapheresis from MHC-inbred miniature swine (n=6) were transplanted into baboons. Group 1 baboons (n=4) underwent whole body (300 cGy) and thymic (700 cGy) irradiation, T cell depletion with antithymocyte globulin, complement depletion with cobra venom factor, short courses of anti-CD154 mAb therapy (20 mg/kg i.v. on alternate days), cyclosporine (CyA) (in two baboons only), mycophenolate mofetil, and porcine hematopoietic growth factors. Anti-Gal Ab depletion by EIA was carried out before transplantation of high doses (2-4 x 1010 cells/kg) of PBPC. Group 2 baboons (n=3) received the group 1 regimen (including CyA) plus a continuous i.v. infusion of BSA-Gal. To prevent sensitization to BSA, anti-CD154 mAb therapy was continued until BSA-Gal administration was discontinued. Results. In group 1, Gal-reactive Ab returned to prePBPC transplant levels within 15-21 days, but no induced Ab to Gal or non-Gal determinants developed while anti-CD154 mAb therapy was being administered. In group 2, anti-Gal Ab was either not measurable or minimally measurable while BSA-Gal was being administered. After discontinuation of BSA-Gal, Ab did not return to pre-PBPC transplant level for more than 40-60 days, and no sensitization developed even when all therapy was discontinued. In one baboon, however, Ab to Gal type 2, but not type 6, returned during BSA-Gal therapy. Conclusions. Prevention of the induced humoral response to Gal and non-Gal epitopes by anti-CD154 mAb therapy has been reported previously by our group, but our studies are the first to demonstrate a therapy that resulted in an absence of natural anti-Gal Ab for a prolonged period. The combination of BSA-Gal and T cell costimulatory blockade may facilitate survival of pig cells and organs transplanted into primates. The return in one baboon of Ab reactive with the Gal type 2 oligosaccharide, but not type 6, indicates some polymorphism of anti-Gal Ab and suggests that, to be effective in all cases, the infusion of a combination of type 6 and type 2 BSA-Gal may be required.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Transplantation  Journal
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    Author List

  • Teranishi K; Gollackner B; Bühler L; Knosalla C; Correa L; Down JD; White-Scharf ME; Sachs DH; Awwad M; C. Cooper DK
  • Start Page

  • 129
  • End Page

  • 139
  • Volume

  • 73
  • Issue

  • 1