The effect of detergent-based decellularization procedures on cellular proteins and immunogenicity in equine carotid artery grafts
Decellularized equine carotid arteries (dEAC) may represent a reasonable alternative to alloplastic materials in vascular replacement therapy. Acellularity of the matrix is standardly evaluated by DNA quantification what however may not record sufficiently the degree of matrix immunogenicity. Thus, our aim was to analyze dEAC with a low DNA content for residual cellular proteins. A detergent-based decellularization protocol including endonuclease treatment resulted in dEAC with 0.6 ± 0.15 ng DNA/mg dry weight representing 0.33 ± 0.14% of native tissue DNA content. In contrast, when matrices were homogenized and extracted by high detergent concentrations westernblot analyses revealed cytosolic and cytosceleton proteins like GAPDH and smooth muscle actin which were depleted to 4.1 ± 1.9% and 13.8 ± 0.55%, resp. Also putative immunogenic MHC I complexes and the alpha-Gal epitop were reduced to only 14.8 ± 1.2% and 15.1 ± 2.05%. Mass spectrometry of matrix extracts identified 306 proteins belonging to cytosol, organelles, nucleus and cell membrane. Moreover, aqueous matrix extracts evoked a pronounced antibody formation when administered in mice and thus display high immunogenic potential. Our data indicate that an established decellularization protocol which results in acellular matrices evaluated by low DNA content reduces but not eliminates cellular components which may contribute to its immunogenic potential in vivo.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 32, Issue 36, December 2011, Pages 9730–9737