Initial in vivo experience of pig artery patch transplantation in baboons using mutant MHC (CIITA-DN) pigs

Iwase H, Ekser B, Satyananda V, Zhou H, Hara H, Bajona P, Wijkstrom M, Bhama JK, Long C, Veroux M, Wang Y, Dai Y, Phelps C, Ayares D, Ezzelarab MB, Cooper DK. Transpl Immunol. 2015 Mar;32(2):99-108. doi: 10.1016/j.trim.2015.02.003. PMID: 25687023

In the pig-to-nonimmunosuppressed baboon artery patch model, a graft from an α1,3-galactosyltransferase gene-knockout pig transgenic for human CD46 (GTKO/CD46) induces a significant adaptive immune response (elicited anti-pig antibody response, increase in T cell proliferation on MLR, cellular infiltration of the graft), which is effectively prevented by anti-CD154mAb-based therapy.

As anti-CD154mAb is currently not clinically applicable, we evaluated whether it could be replaced by CD28/B7 pathway blockade or by blockade of both pathways (using belatacept + anti-CD40mAb [2C10R4]). We further investigated whether a patch from a GTKO/CD46 pig with a mutant human MHC class II transactivator (CIITA-DN) gene would allow reduction in the immunosuppressive therapy administered.

When grafts from GTKO/CD46 pigs were transplanted with blockade of both pathways, a minimal or insignificant adaptive response was documented. When a GTKO/CD46/CIITA-DN graft was transplanted, but no immunosuppressive therapy was administered, a marked adaptive response was documented. In the presence of CD28/B7 pathway blockade (abatacept or belatacept), there was a weak adaptive response that was diminished when compared with that to a GTKO/CD46 graft. Blockade of both pathways prevented an adaptive response.

Although expression of the mutant MHC CIITA-DN gene was associated with a reduced adaptive immune response when immunosuppressive therapy was inadequate, when blockade of both the CD40/CD154 and CD28/B7 pathways was present, the response even to a GTKO/CD46 graft was suppressed. This was confirmed after GTKO/CD46 heart transplantation in baboons.