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Bongoni, Anjan K., Salvaris, Evelyn, Nordling, Sofia, Klymiuk, Nikolai, Wolf, Eckhard, Ayares, David L., Rieben, Robert, Magnusson, Peetra U. and Cowan, Peter J. (2017): Surface modification of pig endothelial cells with a branched heparin conjugate improves their compatibility with human blood. In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, 4450 [PDF, 2MB]


Corline Heparin Conjugate (CHC), a compound of multiple unfractionated heparin chains, coats cells with a glycocalyx-like layer and may inhibit (xeno) transplant-associated activation of the plasma cascade systems. Here, we investigated the use of CHC to protect WT and genetically modified (GTKO. hCD46. hTBM) pig aortic endothelial cells (PAEC) in two pig-to-human in vitro xenotransplantation settings. Model 1: incubation of untreated or hTNFa-treated PAEC with 10% human plasma induced complement C3b/c and C5b-9 deposition, cellular activation and coagulation activation in WT and GTKO. hCD46. hTBM PAEC. Coating of untreated or hTNFa-treated PAEC with CHC (100 mu g/ml) protected against human plasma-induced endothelial activation and damage. Model 2: PAEC were grown on microcarrier beads, coated with CHC, and incubated with non-anticoagulated whole human blood. Genetically modified PAEC significantly prolonged clotting time of human blood (115.0 +/- 16.1 min, p < 0.001) compared to WT PAEC (34.0 +/- 8.2 min). Surface CHC significantly improved the human blood compatibility of PAEC, as shown by increased clotting time (WT: 84.3 +/- 11.3 min, p < 0.001;GTKO. hCD46. hTBM: 146.2 +/- 20.4 min, p < 0.05) and reduced platelet adhesion, complement activation, coagulation activation and inhibition of fibrinolysis. The combination of CHC coating and genetic modification provided the greatest compatibility with human blood, suggesting that pre-transplant perfusion of genetically modified porcine organs with CHC may benefit post-transplant xenograft function.

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