Coagulation and thrombotic disorders associated with pig organ and hematopoietic cell transplantation in nonhuman primates

Academic Article


  • Background. Efforts to achieve tolerance to transplanted pig organs in nonhuman primates by the induction of a state of mixed hematopoietic chimerism have been associated with disorders of coagulation and thrombosis. Activation of recipient vascular endothelium and platelets by porcine hematopoietic cells and/or activation of donor organ vascular endothelium and/or molecular differences between the species may play roles. Irradiation or drug therapy could possibly potentiate endothelial cell activation and/or injury. Methods. We have investigated parameters of coagulation and platelet activation in nonhuman primates after (1) a regimen aimed at inducing mixed hematopoietic chimerism and tolerance (TIR that included total body irradiation, T cell depletion, and splenectomy; (2) pig bone marrow or pig peripheral blood mobilized progenitor cell transplantation (PCTx); and/or (3) pig organ transplantation (POTx). Five experimental groups were studied. Baboons were the recipient subjects in all groups except Group 1. Gp 1 Cynomolgus monkeys (n=6) underwent TIR + allotransplantation of hematopoietic cells and a kidney or heart or TIR + concordant xenotransplantation (using baboons as donors) of cells and a kidney; Gp 2 Baboons (n=4) underwent TIR with or without (±) autologous hematopoietic cell infusion; Gp 3 (n=12) PCTx±TIR; Gp 4 (n=5) POTx±TIR; Gp 5 (n=4) TIR + PCTx + POTx. Platelet counts, with plasma prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, fibrinogen levels, fibrin split products and/or D-dimer were measured. Results. In the absence of a discordant (porcine) cellular or organ transplant (Groups 1 and 2), TIR resulted in transient thrombocytopenia only, in keeping with bone marrow depression from irradiation. PCTx alone (Group 3) was associated with the rapid development of a thrombotic thrombocytopenic (TTP)-like microangiopathic state, that persisted longer when PCTx was combined with TIR. POTx (±TIR) (Group 4) was associated with a gradual fall (over several days) in platelet counts and fibrinogen with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC); after graft excision, the DIC generally resolved. When TIR, PCTx and POTx were combined (Group 5), an initial TTP-like state was superseded by a consumptive picture of DIC within the first week, necessitating graft removal. Conclusions. Both PCTx and POTx lead to profound alterations in hemostasis and coagulation parameters that must be overcome if discordant xenotransplantation of hematopoietic cells and organs is to be fully successful. Disordered thromboregulation could exacerbate vascular damage and potentiate activation of coagulation pathways after exposure to xenogeneic cells or a vascularized xenograft.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Transplantation  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bühler L; Basker M; Alwayn IPJ; Goepfert C; Kitamura H; Kawai T; Gojo S; Kozlowski T; Ierino FL; Awwad M
  • Start Page

  • 1323
  • End Page

  • 1331
  • Volume

  • 70
  • Issue

  • 9