Monomorphic and polymorphic carbohydrate antigens on pig tissues: implications for organ xenotransplantation in the pig-to-human model

Academic Article


  • The existence of the αGal epitope in 137 pigs belonging to 23 different breeds suggests that this antigen is either monomorphic or occurs at a high incidence in the porcine species. Its histological location at the surface of pig vascular endothelial cells makes it a target for human natural anti-αGal antibodies and complement, which may be responsible for the hyperacute vascular rejection of transplanted pig organs. The precursor carbohydrate chain (N-acetyllactosamine) and NeuAc-substituted epitopes are also exposed at the surface of pig vascular endothelium and were found in all pigs in this study. However, humans also have these two epitopes on vascular endothelium and, consequently, have not made natural antibodies against these carbohydrate antigens. Therefore, these two pig epitopes cannot be the main target of the hyperacute vascular rejection process. Three pig phenotpyes-A+(51%), A:H+(38%), and A-H-I+(11%) were identified among 37 Large-white pigs by the presence of polymorphic A, H, and I carbohydrate antigens on the brush border of the surface epithelium of small intestine. These antigens were also present in other exocrine secretions but were not detected on vascular endothelium of the same pigs, suggesting that they are not involved in the hyperacute vascular rejection, although the pig A tissue antigen can induce an immune response in 0 or B blood group recipients. Once the problem of the initial hyperacute vascular rejection directed against the αGal epitope is overcome, typing donor pigs for A, H, and I, as well as for the protein swine leukocyte antigens (SLA) and other pig antigens, may help in elucidating antigens involved in acute or chronic xenograft rejection. © 1994 Springer-Verlag.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 26056831
  • Author List

  • Oriol R; Barthod F; Bergemer AM; Ye Y; Koren E; Cooper DKC
  • Start Page

  • 405
  • End Page

  • 413
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 6