Human monoclonal HLA antibodies reveal interspecies crossreactive swine MHC class I epitopes relevant for xenotransplantation

Mol Immunol. 2010 Jan;47(4):809-15. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2009.10.004. Epub 2009 Nov 22.


Crossreactivity of anti-HLA antibodies with SLA alleles may limit the use of pig xenografts in some highly sensitized patients. An understanding of the molecular basis for this crossreactivity may allow better selection of xenograft donors. We have tested 68 human monoclonal HLA class I antibodies (mAbs) for reactivity with pig lymphocytes from SLA defined pigs and found nine to be crossreactive. Eight of nine were broadly HLA reactive IgM-mAbs. The putative HLA epitopes for seven mAbs. were conserved in the aminoacid sequence of the SLA alleles studied. The lack of reactivity of a large number of mAbs largely correlated with the absence of the putative epitopes in the SLA alleles studied. We conclude that most patients with anti-HLA class I antibodies should be able to find pig donors lacking SLA antigens that cross react with their antibodies and that many of the crossreacting epitopes can be defined by analysis of shared epitopes in the aminoacid sequence of human and pig MHC antigens.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Cross Reactions / immunology*
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • Epitopes / immunology*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • HLA Antigens / immunology*
  • Haplotypes / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Species Specificity
  • Sus scrofa / genetics
  • Sus scrofa / immunology*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Epitopes
  • HLA Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I