Cytoplasmic inheritance of transplantation antigens in animals produced by nuclear transfer

John S. Hanekamp, Masayoshi Okumi, Aseda Tena, Scott Arn, Kazuhiko Yamada, David H. Sachs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. Nuclear transfer has been used as a means of selectively modifying the mammalian genome. One possible consequence of this technology is that the oocytes used in nuclear transfer may provide additional antigens by cytoplasmic inheritance of maternally derived, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). These studies examine the potential consequences of such inheritance in a large animal transplantation model. METHODS. Renal transplants were performed between major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-identical animals differing only in the source of their maternally derived cytoplasmic DNA, using a protocol, which uniformly leads to tolerance within standard MHC-inbred lines. In an attempt to correlate transplant results with a putative marker for disparities in cytoplasmically inherited minor histocompatibility antigens, we examined one hypervariable region of mtDNA, designated hypervariable region 1 (HV1). RESULTS. The mtDNA sequence of the HV1 region was found to be invariant among MGH miniature swine of different haplotypes, despite 25 years of selective breeding of the sublines of this colony. In contrast, swine derived by nuclear transfer into outbred oocytes differed in the HV1 region sequence from each other and from MGH swine. Renal transplants from standard, inbred MGH swine to their MHC-identical knockout counterparts derived from outbred oocytes were rejected within 2 weeks, whereas transplants in the reverse direction were accepted for over 30 days. CONCLUSIONS. The HV1 sequence of mtDNA may serve as a marker for the level of diversity of mtDNA. These transplant data are consistent with the existence of mtDNA-encoded mitochondrial minor antigens with a level of diversity that can influence the outcome of renal transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Mitochondria
  • Rejection
  • Tolerance
  • Transplantation
  • Transplantation antigens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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