Human peripheral blood leukocyte (PBL)-reconstituted severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice (Hu-PBL-SCID) were used as a model to study xenograft rejection in humans. SCID mice were reconstituted with human PBL using a protocol that included a booster injection with anti-human CD3 antibody-primed cells. This protocol enhanced chimera establishment in SCID mice and resulted in the detection of higher levels of human Ig when compared with SCID mice receiving unprimed PBL alone. Human xenoreactive natural antibodies (XNA), both IgM and IgG subtypes, which recognized porcine islets (PI), were detected in sera of Hu-PBL-SCID by cytofluorometric analysis. Pretreatment of porcine cells with GS-IB4 lectin inhibited the XNA binding, demonstrating the specificity of the XNA from Hu-PBL-SCID. Western blot analysis showed that XNA from normal human serum and Hu-PBL-SCID serum recognized similar xenoantigens on PI, indicating that Hu-PBL-SCID contained a XNA repertoire representative of normal human serum. Immunofluorescent staining of the tissue sections revealed that both human IgG and IgM bound in vivo to the PI engrafted beneath the kidney capsule of Hu-PBL-SCID. In addition, mouse complement (C3) was detected on xenografted PI. The function of xenografted islets were monitored by measuring porcine insulin concentration using a radioimmunoassay. Porcine insulin concentration in the sera of both Hu-PBL-SCID and plain SCID xenografted with PI was similar for up to 14 days after transplantation, after which the insulin levels in Hu- PBL-SCID decreased, thereby indicating rejection. Therefore, PI transplanted into the Hu-PBL-SCID should be a useful model for the study of cellular as well as acquired humoral immune response against xenoislets.
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