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Protective role of the complement regulatory protein human CD-55 in cardiac xenograft: A descriptive study and a revision of the literature

  • Authors: Cappello, F.; Bellafiore, M.; Palma, A.; Marciano', V.; Licata, L.; Cannino, G.; Gentile, C.; Zummo, G.; Farina, F.; Bucchieri, F.
  • Publication year: 2002
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


The limited and inadequate availability of organs from human donors has resulted in the utilisation of xenografts as an alternative tool. Nevertheless, hyperacute rejection (HAR) following xenograft determines the loss of the transplanted organ. The "primum movens" is the activation of the complement pathway mediated by the binding of natural xenogenic antibodies to the endothelium of the graft, followed by the lysis of the endothelial cells with subsequent oedema, thrombosis and necrosis of the transplanted organ. In this work we describe morphological and biomolecular observations of isolated human-decay accelerating factor (h-DAF, CD55) transgenic pig hearts, after perfusion for four hours with human blood. H-DAF is a membrane glycoprotein inhibiting the complement activation in humans. We describe considerably reduced damages in transgenic hearts, compared to controls. The cardiac function resulted preserved. Our data are in agreement with what was already shown by other groups using different experimental models. In conclusion, we encourage the use of new sources of transgenic animals, pointing out the importance of morphological analysis in evaluation of xenograft.