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Activated Porcine Embryonic Brain Endothelial Cells Induce a Proliferative Human T-Lymphocyte Response

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Transplantation of allogeneic embryonic neural tissue is a potential treatment for patients with Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. The supply of human donor tissue is limited, and alternatives such as the use of animal (e.g., porcine) donor tissue are currently being evaluated. Before porcine grafts can be used clinically, strategies to prevent neural xenograft rejection must be developed. Knowledge on how human T lymphocytes recognize porcine embryonic neural tissue would facilitate the development of such strategies. To investigate the ability of porcine embryonic brain microvascular endothelial cells (PBMEC) to stimulate human T-cell proliferation, PBMEC were immuno-magnetically isolated and cocultured with purified human CD4 or CD8 single-positive T cells. PBMEC had a cobblestone-like growth pattern and expressed the endothelial cell markers CD31 and CD106. PBMEC stimulated with the supernatant of phytohemagglutinin-activated porcine peripheral blood mononuclear cells or porcine IFN-γ, but not nonstimulated PBMEC, induced proliferation of both CD8 and CD4 T cells as assessed by [3H]thymidine incorporation. Flow cytometric analyses showed that the degree of CD8 and CD4 T cell proliferation correlated with the expression levels of class I and II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens, respectively. PBMEC expressed a CTLA-4/Fc-reactive molecule, most likely CD86, suggesting that these cells are able to deliver a costimulatory signal to the T cells. Human TNF-α, but not human IFN-γ, induced class I, but not class II, MHC expression on PBMEC. Within a neural graft or the regional lymph nodes, PBMEC might stimulate human T cells via the direct pathway, and should therefore be removed from the donor tissue prior to transplantation.
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Keywords: Antigen presentation; Endothelial cell; Neural transplantation; Parkinson's disease; Pig; T lymphocyte; Xenotransplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Division of Clinical Immunology, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge University Hospital AB, S-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden 2: †Department of Molecular Characterization, Biotechnological Institute, DK-2970 Horsholm, Denmark 3: ‡Departments of Physiological Sciences and Clinical Neuroscience, Lund University, BMC-A10, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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