Histopathologic insights into the mechanism of anti-non-Gal antibody-mediated pig cardiac xenograft rejection

Byrne GW, Azimzadeh AM, Ezzelarab M, Tazelaar HD, Ekser B, Pierson RN, Robson SC, Cooper DK, McGregor CG. Xenotransplantation. 2013 Sep-Oct;20(5):292-307. doi: 10.1111/xen.12050. Review. PMID: 25098626

The histopathology of cardiac xenograft rejection has evolved over the last 20 yr with the development of new modalities for limiting antibody-mediated injury, advancing regimens for immune suppression, and an ever-widening variety of new donor genetics. These new technologies have helped us progress from what was once an overwhelming anti-Gal-mediated hyperacute rejection to a more protracted anti-Gal-mediated vascular rejection to what is now a more complex manifestation of non-Gal humoral rejection and coagulation dysregulation. This review summarizes the changing histopathology of Gal- and non-Gal-mediated cardiac xenograft rejection and discusses the contributions of immune-mediated injury, species-specific immune-independent factors, transplant and therapeutic procedures, and donor genetics to the overall mechanism(s) of cardiac xenograft rejection.