An ELISA technique for quantitation of human xenoantibodies binding to pig cells: application in patients with pig kidneys extracorporeally connected to the circulation.

PMID 9584824


A quantitative ELISA technique for determination of human anti-pig xenoantibody number in serum samples has been established using pig lymphocytes and pig/rabbit erythrocytes as target cells and a pool of serum from human blood group AB donors. The number of low affinity antibodies binding to the cells was determined by quantitation following the use of aqueous washing of the cells and separation of bound and unbound antibodies with the phthalate oil method. The efficiency of different soluble Gal(alpha)1-3Gal-terminating di- and tri-saccharides to inhibit antibody binding was tested and found to vary between 70-90% at a saccharide concentration of 10 mg/ml. The assay was used to evaluate the antibody changes in two patients who, after plasmapheresis treatments, had pig kidneys extracorporeally connected to their blood circulation. The number of anti-pig IgM/IgG antibodies bound to each pig lymphocyte were reduced from 5,600/13,200 to 1,300/3,100 in patient 1 and from 1,200/6,500 to 500/2,100 in patient 2 by three consecutive daily plasmapheresis treatments. Although the lymphocytotoxic titers were reduced to very low levels, the antibody numbers still present in the blood of patient 1 caused a hyperacute rejection of the pig kidney. However, the antibody levels in patient 2 did not cause rejection of this kidney during 15 min perfusion time. A strong anti-pig antibody response 3 weeks after the perfusion experiment was found in patient 1 as shown by 27,600/245,300 IgM/IgG molecules bound to pig lymphocytes corresponding to an increase of lymphocytotoxic titer from 8 to 512. The second patient showed a much weaker immune response with 1,400/19,800 IgM/IgG antibodies corresponding to a lymphocytotoxic titer increase from 8 to 32. The use of this quantitation technique enables more accurate investigation of antibody binding to xenogenic target cells than conventional titration techniques.

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