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Analysis of swine leukocyte antigen class I gene profiles and porcine endogenous retrovirus viremia level in a transgenic porcine herd inbred for xenotransplantation research

Analysis of swine leukocyte antigen class I gene profiles and porcine endogenous retrovirus viremia level in a transgenic porcine herd inbred for xenotransplantation research

Journal of Veterinary Science 19(3): 384-392

Molecular characterization of swine leukocyte antigen (SLA) genes is important for elucidating the immune responses between swine-donor and human-recipient in xenotransplantation. Examination of associations between alleles of SLA class I genes, type of pig genetic modification, porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) viral titer, and PERV subtypes may shed light on the nature of xenograft acceptance or rejection and the safety of xenotransplantation. No significant difference in PERV gag RNA level between transgenic and non-transgenic pigs was noted; likewise, the type of applied transgene had no impact on PERV viremia. SLA-1 gene profile type may correspond with PERV level in blood and thereby influence infectiveness. Screening of pigs should provide selection of animals with low PERV expression and exclusion of specimens with PERV-C in the genome due to possible recombination between A and C subtypes, which may lead to autoinfection. Presence of PERV-C integrated in the genome was detected in 31.25% of specimens, but statistically significant increased viremia in specimens with PERV-C was not observed. There is a need for multidirectional molecular characterization (SLA typing, viremia estimation, and PERV subtype screening) of animals intended for xenotransplantation research in the interest of xeno-recipient safety.

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Accession: 046870098

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PMID: 29366300

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