Transfer of swine major histocompatibility complex class II genes into autologous bone marrow cells of baboons for the induction of tolerance across xenogeneic barriers

Academic Article


  • Background. The present study examined the potential role of gene therapy in the induction of tolerance to anti-porcine major histocompatibility complex (SLA) class II-mediated responses after porcine renal or skin xenografts. Methods. Baboons were treated with a non- myeloablative or a myeloablative preparative regimen before bone marrow transplantation with autologous bone marrow cells retrovirally transduced to express both SLA class II DR and neomycin phosphotransferase (Neo(R)) genes, or the Neo(R) gene alone. Four months or more after bone marrow transplantation, the immunological response to a porcine kidney or skin xenograft was examined. Both the renal and skin xenografts were SLA DR- matched to the transgene, and recipients were conditioned by combinations of complement inhibitors, adsorption of natural antibodies, immunosuppressive therapy, and splenectomy. Results. Although the long-term presence of the SLA transgene was detected in the peripheral blood and/or bone marrow cells of all baboons, the transcription of the transgene was transient. Autopsy tissues were available from one animal and demonstrated expression of the SLA DR transgene in lymphohematopoietic tissues. After kidney and skin transplantation, xenografts were rejected after 8-22 days. Long-term follow- up of control animals demonstrated that high levels of induced IgG antibodies to new non-αGal epitopes developed after organ rejection. In contrast, induced non-αGal IgG antibody responses were minimal in the SLA DR- transduced baboons. Conclusions. Transfer and expression of xenogeneic class II DR transgenes can be achieved in baboons. This therapy may prevent late T cell-dependent responses to porcine xenografts, which include induced non- αGal IgG antibody responses.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Transplantation  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ierino FL; Gojo S; Banerjee PT; Giovino M; Xu Y; Gere J; Kaynor C; Awwad M; Monroy R; Rembert J
  • Start Page

  • 1119
  • End Page

  • 1128
  • Volume

  • 67
  • Issue

  • 8