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1 Integrin as a Xenoantigen in Fetal Porcine Mesencephalic Cells Transplanted Into the Rat Brain

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Xenografts of fetal porcine mesencephalic cells implanted into the rat striatum are generally rejected within several weeks. The fetal donor mesencephalon predominantly consists of neurons, but also contains microglial and endothelial cells, which are more immunogenic. In the present work, we investigated the occurrence of donor endothelial cells in grafts of porcine mesencephalic cells implanted into the rat striatum. Pig endothelial cells were monitored by immunochemical methods, using a monoclonal antibody (mAb) that recognizes a peptidic epitope of the porcine 1 integrin, and isolectin IB4, for the staining of the Galα1,3Gal epitope. The analysis also involved the detection of the pig hyaluronate receptor CD44, and the cell adhesion molecule CD31. The anti-1 integrin mAb revealed endothelial-like cells in grafts of porcine mesencephalic cells as soon as 1 week after implantation. A similar staining pattern was obtained with the IB4 lectin. Unlike aortic endothelial cells, these pig brain-derived endothelial-like cells were not recognized by the anti-CD44 antibody. They also failed to express the CD31 adhesion molecule, a fact which suggests that they remained poorly mature, even in grafts maintained during 45 days in immunosuppressed rats. Interestingly, a strong expression of 1 integrin immunoreactivity was noticed in a large proportion (80%) of the cells freshly dissociated from the fetal pig mesencephalic tissue. The immunoreactivity decreased progressively after transplantation of the cells into the rat brain. This observation suggests that dissociated neuroblasts are capable of a temporary expression of 1 integrin. This molecule is known to participate in the process of cell sorting and migration in the developing brain. Hence, its expression could be the hallmark of a rescue mechanism triggered by the disruption of the cell/matrix interactions during the dissociation of the fetal mesencephalon. This disruption might account for part of the dramatic cell death process that occurs during the manipulation of the donor tissue.

Keywords: Brain; Endothelial cell; Graft rejection; Pig neuron; Xenotransplantation; 1 integrin

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Unité 643 and Institut de Transplantation et de Recherche en Transplantation, F-44093 Nantes, France

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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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.

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