Extracorporeal porcine liver perfusion is being developed as a bridge to liver allotransplantation for patients with fulminant hepatic failure. This strategy is limited by porcine Kupffer cell destruction of human erythrocytes, mediated by lectin binding of a sialic acid motif in the absence of antibody and complement. Sialoadhesin, a macrophage restricted lectin that binds sialic acid, was originally described as a sheep erythrocyte binding receptor. Given similarities between sialoadhesin and the unidentified macrophage lectin in our model, we hypothesized porcine sialoadhesin contributed to recognition of human erythrocytes. Two additional types of macrophages were identified to bind human erythrocytes—spleen and alveolar. Expression of sialoadhesin was confirmed by immunofluorescence in porcine tissues and by flow cytometry on primary macrophages. A stable transgenic cell line expressing porcine sialoadhesin (pSn CHO) bound human erythrocytes, while a sialoadhesin mutant cell line did not. Porcine macrophage and pSn CHO recognition of human erythrocytes was inhibited approximately 90% by an antiporcine sialoadhesin monoclonal antibody and by human erythrocyte glycoproteins. Furthermore, this binding was substantially reduced by sialidase treatment of erythrocytes. These data support the hypothesis that porcine sialoadhesin is a xenogeneic receptor that mediates porcine macrophage binding of human erythrocytes in a sialic acid-dependent manner.