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HLA and Histo-Blood Group Antigen Expression in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells and their Derivatives

Journal article
Authors Karin Säljö
Angela Barone
Johan Mölne
Lennart Rydberg
Susann Teneberg
Michael Breimer
Published in Scientific Reports
Volume 7
ISSN 2045-2322
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Pathology
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Language en
Links 10.1038/s41598-017-12231-8
Keywords major histocompatibility complex, human teratocarcinoma cells, normal, human organs, monoclonal-antibody, class-i, histological distribution, group substances, human-heart, structural-characterization, detailed, distribution, Science & Technology - Other Topics
Subject categories Cancer and Oncology


One prerequisite for a successful clinical outcome of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) based therapies is immune compatibility between grafted cells/tissue and recipient. This study explores immune determinants of human embryonic stem cell lines (hESC) and induced human pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) lines and hepatocyte-and cardiomyocyte-like cells derived from these cells. HLA class I was expressed on all pluripotent hPSC lines which upon differentiation into hepatocyte-like cells was considerably reduced in contrast to cardiomyocyte-like cells which retained class I antigens. No HLA class II antigens were found in the pluripotent or differentiated cells. Histo-blood group carbohydrate antigens SSEA-3/SSEA-4/SSEA-5, Globo H, A, Le(x)/Le(y) and sialyl-lactotetra were expressed on all hPSC lines. Blood group AB(O) H antigen expression was in accordance with ABO genotype. Interestingly, only a subpopulation of A1O1 cells expressed A. During differentiation of hPSC, some histo-blood group antigens showed congruent alteration patterns while expression of other antigens differed between the cell lines. No systematic difference in the hPSC cell surface tissue antigen expression was detected. In conclusion, hPSC and their derivatives express cell surface antigens that may cause an immune rejection. Furthermore, tissue antigen expression must be established for each individual stem cell line prior to clinical application.

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