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


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, Lex/Ley 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.

Authors Säljö K, Barone A, Mölne J, Rydberg L, Teneberg S, Breimer ME
Journal Scientific reports
Publication Date 2017 Oct 12;7(1):13072
PubMed 29026098
PubMed Central PMC5638960
DOI 10.1038/s41598-017-12231-8

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