An experimental model for testing von Willebrand factor function: successful SLA-matched crossed bone marrow transplantations between normal and von Willebrand pigs

Exp Hematol. 1996 Apr;24(5):585-91.


To assess the relative in vivo roles of von Willebrand factor (vWF) of different origins, we performed crossed bone marrow transplantations (BMTs) among normal pigs and pigs with the von Willebrand disease(vWF). The two groups were fully compatible immunologically according to typing by swine leukocyte antigen (SLA). After total-body irradiation (8-10 Gy), all pigs received 0.5X10(9) to 10(10)/kg mononuclear bone marrow cells without any immunosuppression. The nadir of aplasia occurred between days 5 and 7 after irradiation (white blood cell [WBC] count 0.6X10(9)/L, platelet [Plt] count 76X10(9)/L. Three weeks after the graft, WBC and Plt counts had returned to normal levels. Animals were followed for at lease 50 days, during which no bone marrow rejection occurred; no evidence of graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) was observed. Each BMT was confirmed by karyotype analysis. In the six homozygous pigs with vWD grafted with normal marrow, platelet vWF antigen (vWFAg) and platelet vWF activity rose from <3 to 450 U/dl with a normal multimeric pattern; plasma vF increases slightly. No correction of bleeding time was observed. In the five normal pigs grafted with bone marrow form pigs with vWD, platelet vWFAg and platelet vWF activity decreased from >100 U/dl to undetectable levels; bleeding time and plasma vWFAg remained unchanged. A derivative of normal porcine plasma, a concentrate containing factor VIII and vWF, was infused into a homozygous vWD pig before and after BMT from a normal pig. Co correction of bleeding time was obtained, even though plasma nd platelet vWFAg levels were normal. W concluded that crossed BMT among SLA-identical pigs is a feasible model of studying the synthesis and the roles of vWF in hemostasis and thrombosis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Chimera
  • Factor VIII / metabolism
  • Hemostasis
  • Histocompatibility Antigens / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Models, Biological
  • Swine
  • von Willebrand Factor / chemistry
  • von Willebrand Factor / genetics
  • von Willebrand Factor / physiology*


  • Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • von Willebrand Factor
  • Factor VIII