Naturally occurring anti-alpha-galactosyl antibodies: relationship to xenoreactive anti-alpha-galactosyl antibodies.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Antibodies produced by an individual without a known history of sensitization to the relevant antigen are called "natural" antibodies. Some natural antibodies, called xenoreactive antibodies, react with the cells of foreign species. Most xenoreactive antibodies in humans and higher primates bind to a nonreducing terminal galactose expressed by pigs and other lower mammals. Although human natural antibodies which bind to one or more of a variety of terminal alpha-galactosyl structures have been identified previously, the antigen recognized by anti-alpha-galactosyl antibodies on the cells of foreign species is thought to be exclusively Galalpha1-3Gal. Thus, anti-alpha-galactosyl antibodies which do not react with Galalpha1-3Gal are thought to be nonxenoreactive. Here, we identify natural antibodies in human serum which bind to Galalpha1-6Hexosepyrranosides but not Galalpha1-3Gal, indicating that these antibodies are not xenoreactive. Various lower mammals were found to have natural anti-Galalpha1-2Gal antibodies in their sera, suggesting that at least some anti-Galalpha1-2Gal antibodies might not be xenoreactive and indicating, surprisingly, that anti-alpha-galactosyl antibodies are much more phylogenetically disperse than previously known. Also surprising was the finding that some natural antibodies which bind to Galalpha1-3Gal in vitro do not bind to porcine xenografts. These studies show that naturally occurring anti-alpha-galactosyl antibodies in mammalian serum include antibodies with a greater variety of reactivities than previously thought, only some of which would bind to a porcine xenograft. Further, these studies show that the methods used to detect anti-alpha-galactosyl antibodies of relevance in xenotransplantation must be carefully evaluated to avoid detection of anti-alpha-galactosyl antibodies which would not bind to a porcine organ and which therefore are not involved in xenograft rejection.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Parker, W; Lin, SS; Yu, PB; Sood, A; Nakamura, YC; Song, A; Everett, ML; Platt, JL

Published Date

  • September 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 865 - 873

PubMed ID

  • 10460828

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0959-6658

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/glycob/9.9.865


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England