Forssman antigen is a glycosphingolipid with antigenic specificity determined by extra-membrane haptenic sugars similar to blood group antigens and antigens that are the main barrier to xenogeneic organ transplantation. Herein, we describe the localization of Forssman antigen in guinea pig lungs and kidneys and the consequences of its interaction with antibodies in vitro and in vivo (Forssman reaction). Exposure of cultured guinea pig aortic endothelial cells to Forssman antibodies induced rapid redistribution of antigen-antibody complexes at the cell surface, followed by shedding that occurred by blebbing of plasma membrane as vesicles or fragments, and was associated with disappearance of antigen from the cell surface (antigenic modulation). Guinea pigs surviving frequent intravenous injections of increasing amounts of antibodies, for a total of 20 to 40 lethal doses, developed a partial or complete adaptation to generalized Forssman reaction, and adaptation was associated with partial or complete modulation of Forssman antigen at the surface of the pulmonary and, in minor degree, renal endothelial and epithelial cells. These findings support the hypothesis that modulation of endothelial carbohydrate antigens contributes to adaptation of highly vascularized organs exposed to tolerable levels of allo- or xenoantibodies.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||American Journal of Pathology|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine