Naturally occurring antibodies that react with xeno-geneic antigens are a clinically important subset of an-tibodies because they initiate hyperacute rejection of organs transplanted between disparate species. This currently precludes the use of nonprimate organs for human transplantation. Most antibodies that arise after immunization are monoreactive, i.e., bind only to the immunogen. Similarly, some “natural” antibodies, e.g., isohemagglutinins, bind in a monoreactive manner. In contrast, other natural antibodies, e.g., those that bind to actin, are polyreactive (i.e., bind to multiple ligands). Such polyreactive antibodies may be derived predominantly from CD5+B cells. In this study, we demonstrate that the majority of xenoreactive natural antibodies in human serum are polyreactive, as indicated by the ability of ssDNA and thyroglobulin (ligands commonly used as targets of polyreactive antibodies) to block the binding of the antibodies to xenogeneic antigens, whereas these ligands could not block the binding of antitetanus antibodies to tetanus toxoid. Furthermore, we compared the ability of 8 polyreactive and 7 monoreactive human mAb to bind to porcine antigens. All of the polyreactive mAb reacted with porcine antigens at mAb concentrations < 3 μg/ml, while none of the monoreactive mAb reacted at concentrations < 3 μg/ml. Each polyreactive mAb reacted with partially overlapping, but distinct sets of porcine cell surface moieties. These results indicate that human polyreactive mAb can bind to multiple xenogeneic antigens in a selective manner and that xenoreactive natural antibodies in human serum are largely polyreactive.
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