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AN69 Hollow Fiber Membrane Will Reduce But Not Abolish the Risk of Transmission of Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses

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As the risk of porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) infection is a major obstacle to the xenotransplantation of porcine tissue, we investigated whether an AN69 hollow fibre membrane, used for islets of Langerhans transplantation, could prevent the transfer of PERVs and thus reduce the risk of PERV infection. PK15 cells were used as a PERV source. A specific and highly sensitive RCR was used for detection of a PERV provirus DNA (gag region) and a porcine mtDNA. Human U293 cells were incubated in vitro with encapsulated PK15 cells, concentrated encapsulated PK15 supernatant, or concentrated PK15 supernatant as a control. CD1 mice were implanted in vivo with encapsulated PK15 cells or injected with PK15 supernatant. We found no infection in human cells incubated with either encapsulated PK15 supernatant or in 10 out of 11 samples after coincubation with encapsulated PK15 cells. Infection of human cells was, however, detected in 1 out of 11 samples after coincubation with encapsulated PK15 cells. The presence of PERV provirus DNA and porcine mtDNA was detected in all the investigated tissues of the mice injected with PK15 supernatant and in various tissues of the mice implanted with encapsulated PK15 cells. Four weeks after the last injection of PK15 supernatant or a fiber explantation, no mouse showed any presence of PERV provirus DNA or porcine mtDNA. Our results demonstrate that AN69 hollow fiber membrane will reduce but not abolish the risk of PERV infection. Because the real risk of PERV infection still remains unknown, it is necessary to investigate further the real protection that could be provided by hollow fibers to ensure the safety of clinical xenotransplantation.

Keywords: Bioartificial pancreas; Hollow fiber; PERV; Xenotransplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Biology of Nutrition, Paris 5 University Faculty of Pharmacy, Paris, France 2: Cellular and Molecular Immuno-Endocrinology, INRA/ENVN/University, Nantes, France 3: Bioengineering Laboratory, Saint-Antoine Hospital, France

Publication date: October 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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