Hyperacute rejection, apparently initiated by natural antibodies and complement, has been viewed as an absolute barrier to the xenotransplantation of vascularized grafts between different species. Until recently, little was known about the molecular and physiological basis for this barrier nor was there evidence that the barrier might be more than transiently breached. In this paper Jeffrey Platt, Fritz Bach and colleagues describe a model of hyperacute rejection and propose that, if hyperacute rejection can be averted for a period after transplantation, prolonged xenograft survival will be possible.
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The authors gratefully acknowledge the dedicated efforts of our colleagues Barbara Alter for cellular studies, Richard Fischel for transplantation of pig hearts to rhesus monkeys and the care of those monkeys, and Martin Turman for his work on natural antibodies. The studies were supported in part by a grant from the Minnesota Medical Foundation and performed in the Jordan Bazelon Research Laboratories. JLP has an Established Investi-gatorship Award from the American Heart Association; Fritz H. Bach holds the Harry Kay Chair in Immunology. This is publication #537 from the Immunology Research Center.