Although human complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) of α1,3-galactosyltransferase gene-knockout (GTKO) pig cells is significantly weaker than that of wild-type (WT) cells, successful xenotransplantation will require pigs with multiple genetic modifications. Sera from healthy humans were tested by (i) flow cytometry for binding of IgM/IgG, and (ii) CDC assay against peripheral blood mononuclear cells and porcine aortic endothelial cells from five types of pig - WT, GTKO, GTKO transgenic for H-transferase (GTKO/HT), WT transgenic for human complement regulatory protein CD46 (CD46) and GTKO/CD46. There was significantly higher mean IgM/IgG binding to WT and CD46 cells than to GTKO, GTKO/HT, and GTKO/CD46, but no difference between GTKO, GTKO/HT, and GTKO/CD46 cells. There was significantly higher mean CDC to WT than to GTKO, GTKO/HT, CD46, and GTKO/CD46 cells, but no difference between GTKO and GTKO/HT. Lysis of GTKO/CD46 cells was significantly lower than that of GTKO or CD46 cells. CD46 expression provided partial protection against serum from a baboon sensitized to a GTKO pig heart. GTKO/CD46 cells were significantly resistant to lysis by human serum and sensitized baboon serum. In conclusion, the greatest protection from CDC was obtained by the combination of an absence of Gal expression and the presence of CD46 expression, but the expression of HT appeared to offer no advantage over GTKO. Organs from GTKO/CD46 pigs are likely to be significantly less susceptible to CDC.
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