The discovery of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERV) has raised concerns regarding the safety of pig to human xenotransplantation. In this study, we examined PERV infection of human cells in vivo. Furthermore, we examined the effect of human xenoreactive natural antibody on in vivo PERV infection. Human peripheral blood leukocyte reconstituted severe combined immunodeficiency mice were transplanted with porcine aortic endothelial cells (PAEC). PERV gene expression was readily detected in human leukocytes after transplantation. In contrast, human leukocytes harvested from mice treated with human serum or anti-Galα(1,3)Gal antibody prevented PERV infection in 6 of 8 mice. These results provide the first evidence that PERV can infect human cells in vivo and that natural xenoreactive antibody can prevent this infection.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by NIH HL57796(TM). The authors would like to thank Drs. Andres Jaramillo and Paul Goodfellow for helpful suggestions and critical review of the manuscript, Dr. Jeremy Goodman for FACS analysis, and Ms. Billie Glasscock for secretarial assistance.
- Natural antibodies
- Reverse transcriptase PCR
- Xenoractive antibodies