Is sensitization to pig antigens detrimental to subsequent allotransplantation?

Academic Article


  • © 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. An important question in xenotransplantation is whether an allotransplant can safely be carried out in a patient who has become sensitized to a pig xenograft. To answer this question, we have searched the literature. We primarily limited our review to the clinically relevant pig-to-non-human primate (NHP) model and found five studies that explored this topic. No NHP that had received a pig graft developed antibodies to alloantigens, and in vitro studies indicated no increased humoral and/or cellular alloreactivity. We carried out a small in vitro study ourselves that confirmed this conclusion. There have been three experiments in which patients undergoing dialysis were exposed to wild-type pig kidneys and three clinical studies related to bridging a patient in hepatic failure to liver allotransplantation. Despite the development of anti-pig antibodies, all subsequent organ (kidney or liver) allografts were successful (except possibly in one case). In addition, pig fetal islets were transplanted into patients with kidney allografts; there was no increase in panel-reactive alloantibodies and the kidney grafts continued to function satisfactorily. In conclusion, the limited data suggest that, after sensitization to pig antigens, there is no evidence of antibody-mediated or accelerated cellular rejection of a subsequent allograft.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Li Q; Hara H; Zhang Z; Breimer ME; Wang Y; Cooper DKC
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 3