Irradiation for xenogeneic transplantation

Edward C. Halperin, Stuart J. Knechtle, Robert C. Harland, Yasuo Yamaguchi, Marc Sontag, R. Randal Bollinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Xenogeneic transplantation (XT) is the transplantation of organs or tissues from a member of one species to a member of another. Mammalian species frequently have circulating antibody which is directed against the foreign organ irrespective of known prior antigen exposure. This antibody may lead to hyperacute rejection. There is no reliable means to avert hyperacute rejection once it ensues so efforts must be directed towards eliminating the pre-existing antibody. In those species in which hyperacute rejection of xenografts does not occur, cell-mediated rejection, similar to allograft rejection, may occur. It is in the prevention of this latter form of rejection that radiation is most likely to be beneficial in XT. Both total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) and selective lymphoid irradiation (SLI) have been investigated for use in conjunction with XT. TLI has contributed to the prolongation of pancreatic islet-cell xenografts from hamsters to rats. TLI has also markedly prolonged the survival of cardiac transplants from hamsters to rats. A more modest prolongation of graft survival has been seen with the use of TLI in rabbit-to-rat exchanges. Therapy with TLI, cyclosporine, and splenectomy has markedly prolonged the survival of liver transplants from hamsters to rats, and preliminary data suggest that TLI may contribute to the prolongation of graft survival in the transplantation of hearts from monkeys to baboons. SLI appears to have prolonged graft survival, when used in conjunction with anti-lymphocyte globulin, in hamster-to-rat cardiac graft exchanges. The current state of knowledge of the use of irradiation in experimental XT is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1990


  • Irradiation
  • Selective lymphoid irradiation
  • Total lymphoid irradiation
  • Transplantation
  • Xenotransplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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