Depletion of IgM xenoreactive natural antibodies by injection of anti-mu monoclonal antibodies

Immunol Rev. 1994 Oct;141:95-125. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-065x.1994.tb00874.x.


It is believed that IgM xenoreactive natural antibodies (XNA) and activation of complement are the two main effectors involved in the hyperacute rejection (HAR) of discordant xenografts, such as pig-to-primate kidney, liver or heart transplants. We have hypothesized that long-term depletion of circulating IgM XNA might be able to overcome HAR and induce the "accommodation" of pig-to-primate vascular discordant xenografts. Several techniques have been described to eliminate circulating XNA in primates but, up to now, none has been able to totally deplete these antibodies for a sufficiently long period of time in order to test the hypothesis of discordant xenograft "accommodation". Previous reports from our laboratory have shown that, in rodents, B-cell immunosuppression could be achieved by neonatal administration of anti-mu antibodies. Recently we have shown that administration of an anti-mu mAb, in adult rats, was able to totally deplete circulating IgM and IgM XNA, without immune complex disease. Furthermore, we have used different methods such as splenectomy, plasma exchange and an anti-B cell immunosuppressive agent mycophenylate mophetil (RS61443, Syntex, Palo Alto, USA) to pre-deplete circulating IgM before administration of anti-mu mAb (MARM-7) and showed that the effectiveness of anti-mu mAb to deplete circulating IgM was increased by 100-fold. Depletion of circulating IgM in adult rats by anti-mu mAb (MARM-7) was used as an experimental model to study the role of IgM XNA in the pathogenesis of HAR in guinea pig-to-rat cardiac xenografts. Our data show that IgM XNA play a major role in HAR, even if in this discordant combination direct activation of complement, probably through the alternative pathway, seems to be the main effector involved in HAR. We have analyzed the mechanisms of anti-mu depletion of circulating IgM in adult animals and shown that, besides anti-mu/IgM immune complex formation, depletion of circulating IgM results from the very significant inhibition of B-cell differentiation and secretion of IgM following in vivo crosslinking and internalization of surface IgM on B cells. As well, we provide evidence demonstrating that anti-mu mAb blocks B cells at an early stage of maturation, probably in the bone marrow. Furthermore, we have developed several rat anti-human and anti-baboon IgM mAb and tested their ability to deplete circulating IgM and IgM XNA in baboons, after splenectomy or splenectomy and plasma exchange.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin mu-Chains / immunology*
  • Injections
  • Lymphocyte Depletion
  • Transplantation, Heterologous / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Immunoglobulin mu-Chains