[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: TNF and its receptors TNF-Receptor 1 (TNFR1, CD120a) and TNF-Receptor 2 (TNFR2, CD120b) have been implicated in the rejection of transplanted cells and organs. Although pig TNFR1 (pTNFR1) is known to mediate the effects of human TNF in a xenogeneic setting, it is unclear whether pig TNFR2 (pTNFR2) could contribute to xenograft rejection.
We have cloned the cDNA of various pTNFR2 variants by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid amplification of cDNA ends. We have characterized the predicted proteins with bioinformatic tools and conducted expression, affinity, and functional studies to investigate their roles.
We have identified four isoforms of pTNFR2: one comprising the four cysteine-rich domains (CRD) conserved between species, a shorter variant (pTNFR2ΔE7-10) encoding for a soluble isoform, another with only three CRD due to the lack of exon 4 (pTNFR2ΔE4), and a fourth variant containing both modifications. Accordingly, multiple mRNA transcripts were observed by northern blotting. Quantitative RT-PCR determined high pTNFR2 expression in lung and immune cells and detected the two alternative splicings in all cells/tissues examined. The full receptor was moderately expressed on the surface of pig cells such as porcine aortic endothelial cells and PK-15 and was regulated by TNF. On the contrary, the membrane-bound pTNFR2ΔE4 was located only intracellularly. Plasmon resonance studies showed that pTNFR2 binds pig and human TNFα with high affinity, but pTNFR2ΔE4 interacts poorly with pig TNFα and does not bind to the human cytokine. Moreover, pull-down experiments with the two recombinant soluble isoforms consistently demonstrated that the two bound together and soluble pTNFR2ΔE4 was able to modulate the TNF inhibitory activity of pTNFR2-GST in a cell-based assay.
The pTNFR2 may participate in the process of xenograft rejection and other related events, as well as be used in soluble form to block TNF in this setting. In addition, we have discovered other pTNFR2 isoforms that may affect the pig immune responses and have an impact on rejection of xenografts.
Full-text Article · Mar 2011 · Xenotransplantation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Extensive studies in rodents have identified olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) as promising candidates for cell-based therapies of spinal cord and peripheral nerve injury. Previously, we demonstrated that short-term cultured adult porcine OECs can remyelinate the rodent and non-human primate spinal cord. Here, we studied the impact of the culturing interval on the remyelinating capacity of adult porcine OECs.
Cells were maintained for 1, 2, and 4 to 6 weeks in vitro prior to transplantation into the demyelinated rat spinal cord. Parallel to this, the in vitro phenotypic properties of the OEC preparations used for transplantation were analyzed with regard to morphology, low affinity nerve growth factor receptor (p75(NTR)) expression and proliferation.
We report that prolonged culturing of adult porcine OECs resulted in impaired remyelination of the adult rat spinal cord. Animals receiving transplants of OECs maintained in vitro for 2 weeks displayed significantly less remyelinated axons than those animals that received OEC transplants cultured for 1 week. There was virtually no remyelination after transplantation of OECs cultured for 4 to 6 weeks. The adult porcine OECs displayed a progressive lost of p75(NTR)-expression as determined by immunostaining and flow cytometry with time in culture.
Taken together, the results indicate that porcine OECs undergo systematic changes with time in culture that result in reduced p75(NTR)-expression, decreased proliferation, and reduced remyelinating capability with time in vitro indicating that relatively short term cultures with limited expansion would be required for transplantation studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Although removal of the Galα(1,3)Gal antigen from pigs would prevent hyperacute graft rejection, the technique of homologous recombination to knock out the α 1,3 galactosyltransferase gene is not available for pigs, and an alternative strategy is presented. As both α 1,3 galactosyltransferase and α 1,2 fucosyltransferase use the same substrate (N-acetyl lacto-samine), competition between the transferases in vitro and in vivo was examined. The data show that there is indeed a hierarchy of these gly-cosyltransferases competing for the same substrate, and that α 1,2 fuco-syltransferase takes precedence over α 1,3 galactosyltransferase: a) COS cells simultaneously transfected with cDNA clones encoding α, 2 fuco-syltransferase and α 1,3 galactosyltransferase show preferential expression of the H substance (synthesised by α 1,2fucosyltransferase) rather than Galα(1,3)Gal (synthesised by α 1,3galactosyltransferase), even though α 1,3galactosyltransferase mRNA and functional enzyme was present, b) In a pig kidney cell line that expressed both the Galα(1,3)Gal and H, the increased expression of H induced by the transfection and stable expression of α 1,2fucosyltransferase resulted in decreased expression of Galα(1,3)Gal. c) Coexpression of α 1,2fucosyltransferase and α 1,3galactosyltransferase in either COS cells or the pig cell line resulted in decreased human antibody binding and complement-mediated cell lysis, d) Transgenic mice, ubiquitously expressing α 1,2fucosyltransferase show a major decrease in Galα-(1,3)Gal expression and a decrease in natural human antibody binding. These findings have important implications for xenotransplantation in that α,2fucosyltransferase transgenic pigs could be a source of donors for xenotransplantation to humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) still retains important limitations. Impaired epigenetic reprogramming is considered responsible for altered gene expression and developmental failure in SCNT-derived embryos. After nuclear transfer the donor cell nucleus undergoes extensive changes in gene expression that involve epigenetic modifications and chromatin remodeling. We hypothesized that SNF2-type ATP-dependent chromatin factors contribute to epigenetic reprogramming and the relative amount of these factors in the donor cell affects developmental potential of the reconstructed embryos. In order to test this hypothesis, we assessed the relative amount of SNF2-type ATPases (Brahma, Brg1, SNF2H, SNF2L, CHD3, and CHD5) in three different donor cells as well as in porcine metaphase II oocytes. We performed SCNT with fetal fibroblast cells, olfactory bulb (OB) progenitor cells, and porcine skin originating sphere stem cells (PSOS). We found that OB-NT embryos and PSOS-NT embryos resulted in a higher morulae/blastocysts ratio as compared to fibroblast-NT embryos (23.53%, 16.98%, and 11.63%, respectively; P < 0.05). Fibroblast cells contained a significantly higher amount of SNF2L and CHD3 transcripts while Brg1 and SNF2H were the most expressed transcripts in all the cell lines analyzed. Metaphase II oocyte expression profile appeared to be unique compared to the cell lines analyzed. This work supports our hypothesis that an array of chromatin-remodeling proteins on donor cells may influence the chromatin structure, effect epigenetic reprogramming, and developmental potential.
Article · May 2008 · Molecular Reproduction and Development
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Cartilage engineering is the object of intense research as a result of major medical needs and therapeutic prospects. Porcine xenogeneic cells/tissues may help in the development of clinical applications such as articular cartilage repair. However, unmodified porcine cartilage is rejected in primates by humoral and cellular mechanisms. We previously showed that porcine articular chondrocytes (PAC) isolated from H-transferase (HT) transgenic pigs show markedly reduced expression of the Galalpha1,3Gal antigen (alphaGal) and prolonged survival when transplanted into alpha1,3galactosyltransferase-deficient mice. In this work, we further studied the protective mechanisms of HT transgenic expression in cartilage, particularly its effects on monocyte adhesion. To this end, PAC isolated from control and HT transgenic pigs were assayed for human complement deposition and adhesion to the human monoblastic cell line U937. Consistent with a reduction in complement activation by the classical pathway, the HT transgenic PAC showed a 2-fold reduction in the deposition of complement components C4 and C3 relative to controls. Adhesion of U937 cells to HT PAC was also diminished under various conditions. This reduction was more dramatic at high effector:target ratios and especially observed when combined with anti-alphaGal antibodies (5-fold difference). Nevertheless, this effect was also observed in the absence of anti-alphaGal. antibodies and after tumor necrosis factor treatment. These results suggest that HT expression on porcine chondrocytes protects them from both humoral and cellular rejection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Clinical solid organ xenotransplantation is precluded by the strong immune response that results in rejection of pig xenografts in primate models. Innate immunity seems to play a major role in this process. In particular, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), produced by natural killer cells and macrophages, contributes to xenograft rejection by promoting endothelial cell activation and the recruitment of inflammatory cells. To further elucidate its molecular mechanism, we cloned the full-length cDNA of porcine TNF-Receptor 2 (pTNFR2, p75) by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of total RNA isolated from porcine peripheral blood mononuclear cells. To this end, we used degenerate primers based on the sequences of the mouse, rat, and human homologues. Two PCR fragments were obtained that contained the pTNFR2 sequence, but differed in size. The shorter clones lacked the sequence corresponding to exon 4 by homology but identical for the rest, suggesting there is an alternative spliced mRNA variant of the porcine receptor. The predicted protein sequence (461 amino acids, containing exon 4) exhibited 72.5% identity to the human TNFR2 and 58.7% to the mouse molecule. By predicted protein sequence analysis, we determined that it comprised the four TNFR cysteine-rich repeats conserved between species. However, the molecule missing exon 4 lacks one cysteine-rich repeat. To assess function, we produced two recombinant proteins containing the extracellular domain of each pTNFR2 variant fused to the Fc portion of human IgG1. Next, we examined their ability to inhibit human TNF-mediated activation of porcine aortic endothelial cells. The addition of the whole pTNFR2 fusion protein to the TNF treatment blocked the up-regulation of activation markers. However, the fusion protein lacking exon 4 failed to effectively counteract TNF effects. These two pTNFR2 isoforms may play differential roles in the process of xenograft rejection.
Full-text Article · Oct 2007 · Transplantation Proceedings
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to investigate the presence of lamin A/C in porcine nuclear transfer embryos and to determine whether lamin A/C can serve as a potential marker for nuclear reprogramming. First, lamin A/C was studied in oocytes and embryos produced by fertilization or parthenogenetic oocyte activation. We found that lamin A/C was present in the nuclear lamina of oocytes at the germinal vesicle stage while it was absent in mature oocytes. Lamin A/C was detected throughout preimplantation development in both in vivo-derived and parthenogenetic embryos. Incubation of the activated oocytes in the presence of alpha-amanitin (an inhibitor of RNA polymerase II), or cycloheximide (a protein synthesis inhibitor) did not perturb lamin A/C assembly, indicating that the assembly resulted from solubilized lamins dispersed in the cytoplasm. In nuclear transfer embryos, the lamin A/C signal that had previously been identified in fibroblast nuclei disappeared soon after fusion. It became detectable again after the formation of the pronucleus-like structure, and all nuclear transfer embryos displayed lamin A/C staining during early development. Olfactory bulb progenitor cells lacked lamin A/C; however, when such cells were fused with enucleated oocytes, the newly formed nuclear envelopes stained positive for lamin A/C. These findings suggest that recipient oocytes remodel the donor nuclei using type A lamins dispersed in the ooplasm. The results also indicate that lamin A/C is present in the nuclear envelope of pig oocytes and early embryos and unlike in some other species, its presence after nuclear transfer is not an indicator of erroneous reprogramming.
Full-text Article · Sep 2007 · Molecular Reproduction and Development
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Embryonic development after nuclear transfer is very low; the majority of cloned embryos do not survive the pre-implantation stage. Recent reports indicate that the characteristics of nuclear transfer embryos depend on the type of nuclear donor cells. It has been suggested that development after nuclear transfer improves if less differentiated cells are used as nuclear donors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the developmental potential of nuclear transfer embryos reconstructed using differentiated and non-differentiated cells. Two types of non-differentiated cells, skin stem cells and olfactory bulb progenitor cells, were used; fetal fibroblasts were used as differentiated control. Prior to nuclear transfer, the differentiated state of the cells was characterized by Oct-4 immunocytochemistry (Chemicon International, Inc., Temecula, CA, USA); Oct-4 is known to be expressed by pluripotent cells only. During nuclear transfer, the cells were transferred into the perivitelline space of in vitro-matured enucleated oocytes. After fusion, reconstructed oocytes were activated by an electrical pulse followed by incubation in 10 µg/mL cycloheximide and 5 µg/mL cytochalasin B for 5 h. The embryos were subsequently cultured in NCSU-23 medium for 6 days; their developmental data were recorded and compared by ANOVA. Non-differentiated cell types showed strong Oct-4 expression, whereas the marker protein was completely absent in fetal fibroblast cells. A total of 161 embryos were reconstructed using skin stem cells, 171 embryos from olfactory bulb progenitor cells, and 189 embryos from fibroblasts. Of the skin stem cell-derived embryos, 32.9% cleaved, and during subsequent culture, 5.6% developed to the morula/blastocyst stage. In the olfactory bulb progenitor cell group, 19.8% cleaved, and the percentage of embryos that developed to the morula/blastocyst stage was 4.7%. In the control group, 22.7% cleaved; the morula/blastocyst formation was 2.6%. Embryos reconstructed from skin stem cells showed superior cleavage rate compared to embryos from the other cell types (P < 0.05). Also, morula/blastocyst formation from skin stem cells was significantly higher than that from fetal fibroblasts (P < 0.05), and morula/blastocyst formation from olfactory bulb progenitor cell-derived embryos also tended to be higher compared to control embryos (P = 0.08). Furthermore, the formation of morulae/blastocysts per cleaved embryos was the highest in embryos reconstructed with olfactory bulb progenitor cells (23.5% vs. 17.0% using skin stem cells and 11.6% using fibroblasts) implying that embryos from olfactory bulb progenitor cells may have higher developmental potential in later stages of development. The results demonstrate that nuclei of different donor cells support development to various degrees and confirm previous reports that using non-differentiated cells as nuclear donors increases the efficiency of nuclear transfer in the pig.
Article · Jan 2006 · Reproduction Fertility and Development
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Delayed rejection of xenografts is a major hurdle that needs to be addressed to achieve long-term engraftment in the pig-to-primate transplant setting. Both vascular and avascular xenografts are susceptible to a delayed rejection process that comprises humoral and cellular responses. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is believed to play a role in this process by promoting cell activation, apoptosis and the recruitment of inflammatory cells. To address this problem, we engineered the donor cell in such a way that it could block both human and porcine TNF.
We produced a recombinant fusion protein containing the extracellular domain of the porcine TNF-Receptor 1 and an IgG Fc moiety (pTNFR1Ig). We first evaluated by flow cytometry the pTNFR1Ig capacity to prevent TNF alpha-induced expression of SLAI, SLAII, VCAM-1, ICAM-1 and E-selectin on the cell surface of porcine aortic endothelial cells (PAEC). The effect on TNF alpha-mediated cell death was also assessed by propidium iodide staining after incubating PAEC with TNF alpha plus cycloheximide for 24 h. PAEC and porcine fibroblasts were subsequently engineered by retroviral infection to express and secrete pTNFR1Ig and their resistance to the TNF alpha effects was tested in vitro. Finally, we transplanted mock-control and pTNFR1Ig-expressing PAEC under the kidney capsule of BALB/c mice in the absence of immunosuppression and examined the degree of rejection at 2 and 3 weeks post-transplantation.
Treatment with pTNFR1Ig resulted in a very potent blockade of human, porcine and murine TNF alpha activity on porcine cells. It inhibited the upregulation of all cell surface markers of activation tested as well as the TNF alpha-mediated cell death. Moreover, pTNFR1Ig-expressing PAEC showed prolonged engraftment in a pig-to-mouse xenotransplant model.
Incorporation of strategies that block TNF may prove useful in the development of xenografts resistant to delayed rejection.
Full-text Article · Dec 2004 · Xenotransplantation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The discovery that a differentiated somatic cell can give rise to a new organism through nuclear transfer cloning touched off a revolution in genetics. A new study outlining how to target genes serially in cows ushers in a new era in large-animal genetics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) have been shown to mediate remyelination and to stimulate axonal regeneration in a number of in vivo rodent spinal cord studies. However, whether OECs display similar properties in the primate model has not been tested so far. In the present study, we thus transplanted highly-purified OECs isolated from transgenic pigs expressing the alpha1,2 fucosyltransferase gene (H-transferase or HT) gene into a demyelinated lesion of the African green monkey spinal cord. Four weeks posttransplantation, robust remyelination was found in 62.5% of the lesion sites, whereas there was virtually no remyelination in the nontransplanted controls. This together with the immunohistochemical demonstration of the grafted cells within the lesioned area confirmed that remyelination was indeed achieved by OECs. Additional in vitro assays demonstrated 1) that the applied cell suspension consisted of >98% OECs, 2) that the majority of the cells expressed the transgene, and 3) that expression of the HT gene reduced complement activation more than twofold compared with the nontransgenic control. This is the first demonstration that xenotransplantation of characterized OECs into the primate spinal cord results in remyelination.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Porcine xenografts transplanted into primates are rejected in spite of immunosuppression. Identification of the triggering mechanisms and the strategies to overcome them is crucial to achieve long-term graft survival. We hypothesized that porcine CD86 (pCD86) contributes to xenograft rejection by direct activation of host T cells and NK cells. Formerly, we designed the human chimeric molecule hCD152-hCD59 to block pCD86 in cis. To test the efficacy in vivo, we have utilized a pig-to-mouse xenotransplant model. First, we showed that hCD152-hCD59 expression prevents the binding of murine CD28Ig to pCD86 on porcine aortic endothelial cells (PAEC) and dramatically reduces IL-2 secretion by Con A-stimulated mouse splenocytes in coculture. Moreover, IFN-gamma secretion by IL-12-stimulated mouse NK cells was averted after coculture with hCD152-hCD59 PAEC. In vivo, control PAEC implanted under the kidney capsule were rapidly rejected (2-4 weeks) in BALB/c and BALB/c SCID mice. Rejection of hCD152-hCD59 PAEC was significantly delayed in both cases. Signs of immune modulation in the hCD152-hCD59-PAEC BALB/c recipients were identified such as early hyporesponsiveness and diminished antibody response. Thus, simply modifying the donor xenogeneic cell can diminish both T cell and NK cell immune responses. We specifically demonstrate that pCD86 contributes to rejection of porcine xenografts.
Full-text Article · Feb 2004 · Cell Transplantation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The field of Regenerative Biology as it applies to Regenerative Medicine is an increasingly expanding area of research with hopes of providing therapeutic treatments for diseases and/or injuries that conventional medicines and even new biologic drug therapies cannot effectively treat. Extensive research in the area of Regenerative Medicine is focused on the development of cells, tissues and organs for the purpose of restoring function through transplantation. The general belief is that replacement, repair and restoration of function is best accomplished by cells, tissues or organs that can perform the appropriate physiologic/metabolic duties better than any mechanical device, recombinant protein therapeutic or chemical compound. Several strategies are currently being investigated and include, cell therapies derived from autologous primary cell isolates, cell therapies derived from established cell lines, cell therapies derived from a variety of stem cells, including bone marrow/mesenchymal stem cells, cord blood stem cells, embryonic stem cells, as well as cells tissues and organs from genetically modified animals. This mini-review is not meant to be exhaustive, but aims to highlight clinical applications for the four areas of research listed above and will address a few key advances and a few of the hurdles yet to be overcome as the technology and science improve the likelihood that Regenerative Medicine will become clinically routine.
Full-text Article · Dec 2003 · Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The production of genetically engineered pigs as xenotransplant donors aims to solve the severe shortage of organs for transplantation in humans. The first barrier to successful xenotransplantation is hyperacute rejection (HAR). HAR is a rapid and massive humoral immune response directed against the pig carbohydrate Galalpha 1,3-Gal epitope, which is synthesized by alpha 1,3-galactosyltransferase (alpha1,3-GT). The Galalpha 1,3-Gal antigen also contributes to subsequent acute vascular rejection events. Genetic modifications of donor pigs transgenic for human complement regulatory proteins or different glycosyltransferases to downregulate Galalpha 1,3-Gal expression have been shown to significantly delay xenograft rejection. However, the complete removal of the Galalpha 1,3-Gal antigen is the most attractive option. In this study, the 5' end of the alpha 1,3-GT gene was efficiently targeted with a nonisogenic DNA construct containing predominantly intron sequences and a Kozak translation initiation site to initiate translation of the neomycin resistance reporter gene. We developed two novel polymerase chain reaction screening methods to detect and confirm the targeted G418-resistant clones. This is the first study to use Southern blot analysis to demonstrate the disruption of the alpha 1,3-GT gene in somatic HT-transgenic pig cells before they were used for nuclear transfer. Transgenic male pigs were produced that possess an alpha 1,3-GT knockout allele and express a randomly inserted human alpha 1,2-fucosylosyltransferase (HT) transgene. The generation of homozygous alpha 1,3-GT knockout pigs with the HT-transgenic background is underway and will be unique. This approach intends to combine the alpha 1,3-GT knockout genotype with a ubiquitously expressed fucosyltransferase transgene producing the universally tolerated H antigen. This approach may prove to be more effective than the null phenotype alone in overcoming HAR and delayed xenograft rejection.
Full-text Article · Sep 2003 · Biology of Reproduction
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Humoral and cellular defense mechanisms mediate the rejection of transplanted cells, tissues, and organs after allogeneic or xenogeneic transplantation. Inhibition of complement and T-cell costimulation are strategies aimed at increasing transplant survival.
Engineered novel fusion proteins that contain the functional domains of human CD152 (hCTLA4) or porcine CD152 (pCD152) and human CD59 (hCD152-hCD59, pCD152-hCD59) were developed to form bifunctional chimeric proteins that retain the effector functions of both moieties. Porcine aortic endothelial cells and murine Balb/3T3 cells were transduced or transfected to express the novel fusion proteins.
Fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis of hCD152-hCD59 transduced primary porcine aortic endothelial cells or hCD152-hCD59 and pCD152-hCD59 transfected Balb/3T3 cells determined that the molecules were expressed on the cell surface, and that they retained conformational epitopes. We demonstrate that hCD152-hCD59 and pCD152-hCD59 chimeric proteins inhibit complement-mediated cell lysis. In addition, hCD152-hCD59 or pCD152-hCD59 expression resulted in a significant reduction in T-cell activation as the result of CD152 engagement of porcine CD86 or murine CD80 in when Jurkat cells were cocultured with the hCD152-hCD59 or pCD152-hCD59 expressing cells. Antibody-blocking experiments or phosphatidylinositol phospholipase C removal of the glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-linked molecules resulted in increased serum-mediated cytolysis and eliminated the costimulatory blockade.
These data illustrate that a single molecule can confer resistance to humoral and cellular immune attack.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The use of xenogeneic cells or tissues for tissue engineering applications may lead to advances in biomedical research. Hyperacute and delayed rejection are immunologic hurdles that must be addressed to achieve xenograft survival in the pig-to-primate setting. Expression of human alpha1,2-fucosyltransferase (HT) in the donor cell or tissue protects from hyperacute rejection (HAR) by reducing expression of Galalpha1,3-Gal epitope, the major xenoantigen recognized by human natural antibodies. We hypothesized that Galalpha1,3-Gal antigen contributes to delayed tissue rejection. To test this hypothesis, we transplanted control or HT-transgenic engineered porcine cartilage s.c. into alpha1,3-galactosyltransferase knockout (Gal KO) mice. Control porcine cartilage grafted in Gal KO mice was not susceptible to HAR but was rejected in several wk by a prominent cellular immune infiltrate and elevated antibody titers. In contrast, Gal KO mice receiving the HT engineered cartilage showed a markedly reduced anti-pig antibody response and no anti-Galalpha1,3-Gal-elicited antibody response. The HT implants had a mild cellular infiltrate that was confined to the graft periphery. Our study demonstrates that a marked reduction of Galalpha1,3-Gal antigen in HT-transgenic porcine cartilage confers resistance to a process of delayed rejection. Further development of tissue engineering applications that use genetically modified porcine tissues is encouraged.